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Court rules in favor of the City of Bakersfield in Tatyana Hargrove case

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Posted at 5:42 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 20:54:25-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A district court has found that two Bakersfield police officers did not violate the rights of Tatyana Hargrove, who accused the officers of using excessive force.

On Father's Day in 2017, Hargrove went shopping near Ming Avenue and Ashe Road. She says she was stopped by police and asked to hand over her backpack.

In a video produced by the NAACP, Hargrove said "They never told me why they stopped me but after they beat and threw me in the cop car, that's when they explained that there was some guy with a machete that was inside the grocery store and they were looking for him and I matched the description.”

According to the police report obtained by 23ABC back in 2017, the alleged suspect was described as a black male in his 30s with a goatee, around 5’10”, 160 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt, and holding a pink duffle bag and a black backpack. The report states that officers saw Hargrove, who is 5’2 and 120 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt and having a red and black backpack on. When officers asked to put her hands in the air, Hargrove resisted.

Hargrove wasn’t asked for her name until after she was arrested according to the report, which was when officers first realized they detained Hargrove instead of the male suspect they were looking for.

Charges against Hargrove were later dropped due to insufficient evidence by District Attorney Lisa Green. Police Chief Lyle Martin issue an apology at the time.

Six months after the incident, Hargrove filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Bakersfield accusing the officers of using excessive force.

However, a jury ruled that the officers were not negligent, did not use excessive force and did not unlawfully detain Hargrove. In addition, Hargrove agreed not to appeal the verdict in exchange for the city of Bakersfield dropping requests for court costs incurred by the case.

23ABC reached out to the district attorney for comment, but she could not be reached late Friday afternoon.