A rally for justice is planned Thursday for a Bakersfield, CA girl who was recently punched in the mouth by a police officer, according to our affiliate KBAK.
USA Today reported that Tatyana Hargrove, 19, was struck after being mistaken for a male suspect in Bakersfield last month.
Hargrove, who is black, was also reportedly bitten by a police dog during the incident on Father’s Day.
The case purportedly began attracting national attention Monday when the Bakersfield NAACP posted a video of Hargrove recounting her experience that has since gone viral.
Some Twitter users on Thursday voiced sympathy for Hargrove, who police reportedly mistook for a black man who brandished a machete at at employee working at a nearby store.
The NAACP’s video about Hargrove has drawn more than 5 million views, and a related online petition is calling for the officers involved to be criminally charged and placed on leave.
Hargrove contends she was biking to her father on June 18 when she stopped for a drink of water and was approached by three police cars.
The teenager claims she was punched, thrown onto the ground and bitten by the dog after expressing reluctance to give up her backpack.
Officer Christopher Moore said in a police report that another officer, identified only as Vasquez, toppled over while attempting to secure Hargrove’s wrists.
Vasquez reportedly punched Hargrove in the mouth when she would not let him up while sitting on him.
Moore then gave his dog Hamer “his command to engage” when Hargrove would not stop resisting him and other officers on the scene.
The cop alleges that he did not know Hargrove was a woman until she notified him in the back of a police car.
Hargrove was ultimately arrested on charges of resisting or delaying an officer and aggravated assault on an officer.
The Bakersfield NAACP is calling for the charges to be dismissed and that city police officers wear body cameras going forward.
Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin reportedly announced this week that an internal investigation would be conducted into the incident with Hargrove.