In Rochester, New York, a young woman carrying her unborn child was arrested by police earlier this week, and the whole chaotic scene was caught on tape. According to USA Today, after a family argument went awry, police were called to the scene. After police alleged that 21-year-old Brenda Hardaway pointed pepper spray at officers, Officer Lucas Krull tried to subdue and arrest Hardaway. Six months pregnant according to her family, Hardaway was pressed face-down on the hood of a car and was screaming out that she was pregnant. It’s not clear if she was doing so in the hopes that Officer Krull would let up on all the excessive force, or if she was hoping it would keep her from being arrested. After her repeated statements that she was pregnant, Officer Krull punched Hardaway in the back of the head and wound up having to toss her on the ground while family members and neighbors screamed and videotaped (which Hardaway asked them to do at one point to show later). At the same time, her 16-year-old brother was being subdued by multiple police on the porch steps of their home.
With the idea of Hardaway possibly being pregnant in my mind, the video was definitely hard to watch, as I just worried about the damage being done to her stomach. However, Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard told media that “tremendous restraint” was actually shown by Officer Krull, and asks that people not jump to conclusions about what they saw just yet:
“When we receive resistance from an individual, we may strike you in a way that changes your channel so to speak. In a way that changes your resistance.
While the video may cause concern relative to the officer’s tactics, I stress that it is important that the incident be viewed in its totality and to withhold judgment until all the facts are known, including those parts of the event that are not shown on the video.”
Sheppard did claim that the tactics used by officers on the scene, including Officer Krull, are being reviewed to see if they followed proper training and policy, so we have a feeling nothing will come out of that…
As for Hardaway, she was taken to Rochester General Hospital, was treated and has since been released to Monroe County Jail. She has being held on $7,500 bail for charges of assault and resisting arrest (her brother was released after being charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest). Officer Krull also went to the same hospital, and was treated for injuries to the nose and elbow.
Check out the video above for yourself and let us know what you think. You can get the gist of the whole thing by watching the first three minutes.