Rochester police attack pregnant womanA video of what appears to be a brutal attack of a pregnant woman by a Rochester, N.Y. police officer surfaced on the web this week, and people are rightly outraged.

The video, captured Tuesday evening by a neighbor, shows 21-year-old Brenda Hardaway pleading with officers as they try to restrain her.

As Hardaway repeatedly yells, “I’m pregnant! Get off me! You’re going to kill my baby,” Officer Lucas Krull punches her in the head and throws her to the ground.

Alternet.org gives more details about the altercation:

Police claim that the woman was arrested because she threatened to use a can of pepper spray on the police after intervening in the arrest of another person. In the video, her 16-year-old brother can be seen sitting on the steps, hands cuffed, telling the officers that his sister simply can’t have her hands cuffed behind her back because she is pregnant, and falling forward could cause harm to the baby.

While the video appears to show a vicious encounter, Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard told reporters his officers showed “tremendous restraint.”

“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,” he said.

(Trigger warning: the video may be difficult to watch.)

Hardaway was taken to Rochester General Hospital where she was treated for injuries to her elbow and nose. She was arrested and charged with assault and resisting arrest, and is being held in Monroe County Jail on $7,500 bail.

Hardaway’s brother was released after being charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Rochester Police Chief Sheppard says officers’ actions are under review.

  • Lylydon’tlie

    White folks are working overtime to try and show people of color our ‘place’ and what they really think of us. Let them know we know our worth though- don’t let things like this slide! She can take legal action (even if the justice system is part and parcel of the racist foundation of this country), we’ve got to shame the devil, because he sure is busy.

  • Perspective

    As white people said about the Chris Lane killing – “WHERE’S AL SHARTON?”

    I ask

    Where is C. Karazin from “Beyond Black and White?”

  • Anonymous

    I may be in the minority here, but I’ll go ahead..

    While I do think the officer was a bit excessive in his recorded actions (smacking her in the head and slamming her to the ground), I don’t feel that being pregnant is an excuse for repeatedly resisting arrest. Record everything going down. Keep reiterating that you’re pregnant. But listen to what they tell you to do. Police know that they can use force on anyone. So if you know this as a pregnant woman your first priority should be the well being of your child. According to what the Chief of Police said, she threatened to use Pepper Spray on an Officer. They always take threats seriously.

  • Perspective

    This video illustrates the draw back of not having a patriarchy OPERATED AND CONTROLLED by your own men.

    The women are left defenseless, and the (black) men frankly don’t care because the black woman isn’t attached to anything that the black man is trying to build nor pass on.

    Unfortunately, Black men look at black women getting ruffed up by police the same way as they look at black men.

    It’s a little hard for black women to assert themselves as EQUAL to men on a daily basis, or men to try to EQUALIZE themselves to the intrinsic value of women, and then when something like this happens, women pull out the – “I’m a woman!” CARD

    As we can see those WHITE MALE POLICE OFFICERS, could give a damn of their FEMALE STATUS, and the lone black male police officer wanted no parts of the whole situation.

    The bottom line is black women are COMPLETELY unprotected, and I’m not proud to say that as a black man, but black women aren’t going to be protected by insisting that they are 100% EQUAL to their own men.

    I think these white police officers demonstrated just how NOT equal women are… when it comes down to it.

    Even if the women were going to get arrested, it still would have been better if it were ALL black officers handling the situation because AT LEAST – you’re dealing with your own people and not a group of men who has shown a historic hostility towards your people. Then all the details of what actually started the whole thing and the arrest itself could be sorted out WITHOUT assuming there was any BIAS

  • Afrostyling

    “Police claim that the woman was arrested because she threatened to use a can of pepper spray on the police after intervening in the arrest of another person.”

    She is pregnant but trying to pepper spray the police? And is shocked when they tried to handcuff her? These people already need little to no incentive to act like barbarians and treat you like second class citizens, why would you get in their face? This is what happens when black women have the mule mentality. Your ass is pregnant but you want to go ahead and defend a man from the police. Please seat your pregnant ass down.

  • Anthony

    She cannot have it both ways, she cannot threaten to pepper spray the police, resist arrest, and not get some rough treatment. She should not have been struck, the officer needs to be charged for hitting her, but you do not pull a weapon on an officer without expecting rough treatment and an arrest if you can’t win the fight.

  • Afrostyling

    Seems my previous comment is not showing up.

    “Police claim that the woman was arrested because she threatened to use a can of pepper spray on the police after intervening in the arrest of another person.”

    She is pregnant but trying to pepper spray the police? And is shocked when they tried to handcuff her? These people already need little to no incentive to act like barbarians and treat you like second class citizens, why would you get in their face? This is what happens when black women have the mule mentality. Your ass is pregnant but you want to go ahead and defend a man from the police. Please seat your pregnant ass down.

  • Guess

    First and foremost you and the other posters on this site seem to be presuming that what the police have said is truthful with ZERO evidence to support their account of events. Questions: Did she say she was going to use pepper spray on them or did she have a can of pepper spray in her possession?? Was the reason she didn’t put her arms behind her back is because she did not want be forced to the pavement face down?? Was she afraid of having her arms placed behind her back and pushed upward or broken?? Apparently, some you have not actually witnessed how brutal police are during a real-life arrest – this is not a lifetime movie! Police do not play fair or provide accurate, truthful accounts of their behavior. Grow the ferk up. Srsly.

  • Tish

    I don’t think the woman should have threatened the officers with police spray (video would have been more effective) but the punch to the head and the take-down came WAY after the spray was still a threat…Maybe it just didn’t show in the video, but I didn’t see spray in her free hand, and he had at least one of her arms bent behind her back for most of the physical confrontation…If he felt that threatened by a woman in the presence of several other officers, he needs to seek other employment.

  • Avril

    Apparently, there was no spray in her hand. Also, believe it or not, officers are trained to TALK before actually putting their hands on someone. This clearly did not happen. It was a huge mistake for the woman to say anythink like that to the officer (c’mon now black people; we know police are crazy. Why bother saying that?) but the officer used way too much force. We all know by now that if this family/woman was white, there would have been words but the police would’ve walked away without a problem and no one would be in jail. Just a mess.

  • NewHere

    WTF??? White women want equality too but they are still treated as women. Trust me, racism, not feminism was at the root of this.

  • SayWhat

    WOW reading these comments is depressing. Black women need to wake up and realize that our efforts to protect black men are fruitless because no one is protecting or defending us.

    Everyone took the officers word that she had pepper spray, and apparently because black women want to be recognized as equals, that means that we are now all of a sudden men who should be able to take a beat down. Tell you what, save your stamps and don’t send me an invite for the next march.

  • Perspective

    Yes, white women want equality against the back drop of their men WHO CONTROL EVERYTHING.

    What jobs are black men denying you from? What blockade of black men stand between you and excellence?

    White women are NOT about to go up against white men and topple their own system and risk losing all the PERKS AND BENEFITS that come along with THEIR MEN being the dominant force on this planet. You need to RECOGNIZE THAT!

    Sure they want more personal and individuals freedoms but if you think white women are going to side with black women to go up against THEIR MEN who protect them and put them on pedestals YOU GOT ANOTHER THING COMING.

    No one’s arguing that the root of this incident isn’t racism – frankly – I don’t care if it is. My POINT WAS, that with black women having their own patriarchy – OTHER GROUPS of men can pretty much come into the BC and do whatever they want, and the punk behind black men that we having coming out of MATRIARCHY aren’t going to help you.

    For further evidence, I direct you to the BROTHA “HOLDING THE CAMERA” in the video.

  • Josh

    Exactly, this is exactly what the typical black man thinks, because, as we all know, extremist never dominate comment sections. Hell, I don’t even enough why companies spend millions every year gathering opinions through scientific polls, they should all just skim the comment sections of articles.

  • K

    I know this isnt the popular opinion im sure but I personally dont feel sorry for her. The only thing I saw the cop do a bit too much on was the punch to the head but the rest nope not for me. He didnt “slam” her to the ground in my opinion. Everyone sees the same situation differently which I respect as well. I saw her trip her to the ground because she was STILL resisting arrest. Regardless of what happened before, judging from just the video clip alone she had been resisting arrest for quite some time. Lets just say she didnt have the pepper spray, if an officer is trying to arrest you right or wrong, dont you think it will be EVEN worse resisting arrest than being cooperative? Also, i heard her say she cant put her hands behind her back because she is pregnant, that statement alone left me with a bad taste of bullsh*t on her part. What pregnant woman cant put her hands behind her back because she will lose the baby? thats the biggest crock of sh&t ive ever heard.

  • M

    This officer was completely justified in his actions. She was resisting arrest and threatening officers with pepper spray. I would’ve done the same and also most likely have used pepper spray myself if I were the arresting officer.

  • Ads

    Women ARE equal, no trying about it. And yes women can be apprehended by police. But a PREGNANT woman’s first duty is to her unborn child. And it’s natural to fear and flee contorted positions and violent officers.

  • LemonNLime

    You are a grade A ass hat.

  • M

    You’re forgetting the fact that the video only shows the officer attempting to arrest her. She threatened officers with pepper spray and that justifies an arrest, regardless of whether or not she was “pregnant”. And once she was placed under arrest and started resisting she deserved everything she received. That officer completely followed procedure and I can’t wait to see that woman go to jail.

  • Anthony

    Once she was under arrest. Resisting was just going to get her beaten. I say this as a black man. It is hard as hell to win police brutality cases. When the subject is perfectly compliant, if you fight with the officer or brandish a weapon, you have no chance. That is just how it works. I would say the same thing to a man. Unless are prepared to be like Syria and go to war, fighting an arresting officer is a no win situation.

  • Apple Pie

    Act like an animal, get treated like one.

  • Apple Pie

    You must be the family member to this savage in the video above. It’s women who think like you and act like the women above, that breeds nonsense into the black community. Be realistic.

  • Perspective

    You know I would REALLY like black women to elaborate on this EQUAL topic because I’m tired of the DUPLICITY of women.

    From where I stand I see women wanting the POWER OF MEN, the PRIVILEGES OF WOMEN (protections, provisions, security, red carpet treatment, men paying for dinner) and but the responsibilities of NEITHER.

    What I want to know is where is the line in the sand of EQUALITY – how much equal are you to men, and where is the line in the sand on where the equality ends and then you revert back to the sanctuary of being a woman i.e. no heavy lifting, being able to DEFAULT to male responsibilities, blame, and accountability.

    Example: Woman drives and gets the man and the woman lost in his car.

    “Well if you were a real man, I wouldn’t have been in the driver seat in the first place. I was only driving because you were too weak of a man to drive.”

    Despite the fact that she FOUGHT with you over the keys and called you sexist for saying that women can’t drive.

    I just think a lot of this comes down to women NOT wanting to be TOLD what to do, but they DON’T want the responsibility that comes with the leadership or positions of control that they are fighting for.

    If it happens on your watch – it should be YOUR responsibility.

    Example – despite that a father is supposed to be there for his children. Black women can’t have it both ways.

    Kids FAIL – “Oh it’s because his father wasn’t there”

    Kids Succeed – “I did it all by myself!”

    From purely a logical standpoint – can you not see the FLAW in that reasoning?

    Last point – Marches are an outdated response to the problems in the black community. You can’t make DEMANDS from a financially subordinate position.

    I thought the strong independent women were hip to this a long time ago with their relationships with black men.

  • diasporauk

    When are black people gonna get tired of being treated like this by these uniformed animals?

    This reminds me of the “Light em up” video, where we saw a bunch of cowards from a different branch of America’s uniformed thug corps, selected from the bowels of America’s trailer parks (aka US soldiers), mow down unarmed Reuters journalists.

    Don’t know how long these people think they can get away with their abuses . . . .

  • Phillygurl

    Exactly, as if in the past black women were protected from brutality. I think folk need a history lesson.
    .

  • Jello

    You do realize that we were still raped and beaten BEFORE Femism right? During civil rights when we marched WITH you right by your side? The dogs and the water hoses were turned on us too. Yah know if you haven’t forgotten that black women were lynched and beaten and raped at te same rate men were. And this was before Femism,before civil rights,before they freed the skaves. Hell even on the slave ships we were shackled right next to you recovering the same treatment WHILE pregnant. Or even on our monthly cycle,just strapped down to that ship right next to you.

    But for some strange reason your anti black woman misognists ass forgot all that. Forgot that blak men were force out of their families during Alavert to humiliate them and to cut emotional connection to condition you to be a mindless price if machinery and black women a mine less breeding machine. This isn’t the fault of feminism,this isnt the fault or black women. It’s institutionalized white supremacy and Black men and women who are agents in white supremacy by using the same divide and Conquer techniques used to tear apart mother Africa in the place.

    You aren’t helping anyone. You’re spewing half truths.

    And you also hat black women. Youremcommentnare all over YouTube and Necole Bitchie.and. Recently tonysotomyor. You aren’t trying to hell black women. You’re trying to cause emotional damage. You aren’t chaning the black communityirnuolifing black men. You’re just yet another negroe destroy its own community

  • angel

    Perspective, if you are a black man I pray you do not have any daughters. If you are with a black woman I am praying for my sister. You are full of bitterness and hate it seems.

  • marc

    resist arrest and get man-handled. Being pregnant does not mean you cannot be arrested.

  • apple

    they said that she threatened the police with pepper spray but why were they there in the first place?

    but hey i have seen cops throw down a quadrapagelic saying he resisted arrest, this is of no surprise. they just shot a 95 year old man at the old folks home because he wouldn’t take his medicine, last week they shot down(with a taser) then strangled a man on a roof considering suicide when the neighbors just was calling to get him down… i don’t trust the cops for anything

  • Deal-n-Truth

    The video says it all and from what I saw he was excessive, but she was also resisting arrest and repeatedly combative with the police officer. She should have did what he told her to and without the derogatory actions. Follow the law and you won’t have these types of incidents and stop trying to save black men who should be about saving themselves.

  • Cheers23

    oh the elusive “procedure” argument. So meaningless, vague, & subjective.

  • naan

    I see a woman that is so concerned about her baby but yet is still resisting arrest putting herself and her child further in danger.

    If this woman was really concerned about putting her hands in front vs behind she didn’t make that clear to anyone. Her only complaint was that she was being arrested and she felt that her being “pregnant” was grounds enough to not arrest her.

    I do believe that hitting her though was excessive.

  • njw

    I’d like to know what happened before the video started. According to the article she was intervening in the arrest of another person. Sorry, but you do not do that period. If you do how could you not expect to get arrested or at least detained and then if you resist. No sympathy here. If you see a loved one being arrested unfairly tell them to do what the police say and call a good lawyer.

  • noodle

    She to busy looking for a movie deal for that book that tanked, reminds me of a old rapper looked for a record deal…

  • EbonyLolita

    OK I can only judge based on what I SEE!! I don’t know what happened before that. This is what we call “Passive Resistance” when you fail to comply with verbal directives of an officer. I’m in Law Enforcement & there is a force continuum that has to be followed based on resistance. PUNCHING an “alleged” pregnant is not part of the force continuum. He could have pepper sprayed her or done a pressure point tactic. However, she was NOT making it easy for him. For future reference when you feel or KNOW your rights are being violated. Comply, keep that tape running & file a civil lawsuit.

  • Guess

    I accidentally upped your comment, but let me just expand upon my comment earlier. Many people aren’t agile enough to place their hands behind their back for fear of injury, irrespective of whether they’re pregnant. The issue I have with pregnant women being asked to place their hands behind their backs is that police often push people face-down (and thus belly down) on the pavement unnecessarily during arrests and often shove and thrust suspects’ arms upward behind their heads for not fathomable reason, even when they are not resistance. I would have been afraid of injury as well. Physical punishment before, during or after arrest is not part of the cycle of punishment associated with bringing SUSPECTED criminals to justice. JAIL and loss of freedom are the allowable punishments. Loss of life, loss of child and substantial injury are not part of the deal for anyone whether right, wrong, guilty or innocent.

  • Guess

    @apple pie: i don’t believe that anyone, irrespective of their ability to articulate themselves in a manner that is more consistent with the “King’s” English or to behave in a manner that is acceptable to the so-called dominant race, is a savage. further, i nor one single member of my immediate family has ever been arrested, accused or convicted of a crime. intellect, morals, observation and critical thinking would bring anyone to the conclusion that the officer’s actions were wrong. people would more up in arms if this were an animal and not a vulnerable (if overtly verbose) black woman. you have a terrible case of self-loathing… smh at your ignorance and hatred.

  • Perspective

    You can believe in your “whoa is the black woman” world all you want about the black woman never being valued – amazing at how most of you can go back to your grand parents being death to us part, but then claim the black woman was NEVER protected or honored.

    So I guess you mean to tell me that if we go back to the 20′s, 30′s, 40′s and 50′s that if something like this were to go down black men would be standing there taking pictures and video if we gave them all today’s technology?

    You are a fool for that one!

  • Perspective

    @ Jello – so in other words, you are saying that SLAVERY and RACIAL oppression is the great equalizer.

    I find it odd how you make sweeping general statements that BLACK WOMEN WERE AND ARE EQUALLY victimized as black men – but yet who is FILLING UP THE PRISONS – it ain’t ya’ll.

    I don’t know when you are going to learn that BLACK WOMEN are not a threat to white men. NEVER HAVE BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE.

    I guess the miscommunication is that black women believe that black men’s fight for equality was also some sort of fight for us to EQUALIZE ourselves with you all. That’s what it sounds like, and I am here to say that I DO NOT look at black women as my equal.

    Hell, look at the results of all these black men who think they are BEAUTIFUL BLACK MEN, and don’t think that they have to do anything because they believe that YOU are just as capable as them.

    You can’t have it both way. You can’t assert your equalness and then FALL BACK on “we’re women, we’re feminine, we give birth” at the same time, which is what black feminist do all the time.

    You want the the benefits of a patriarchy with black men as you EQUALS. That is NOT going to happen.

    A black man is not going to go out there and build the infrastructure of a community breaking sweat and then have you claim that he must hand 50% over to you. If you want 50% I suggest you get in the trenches with him, but as soon as black men say that – you all retreat back to “BUT I’M A WOMAN AND IF YOU WERE A REAL MAN YOU WOULDN’T MAKE ME….”

    You all just want to have your cake and eat it too and your not WOMAN ENOUGH to admit that. Again, hence why I don’t see black women as equals.

    If you are EQUAL to black men – then STOP looking for protection and provisions from black men. If you don’t need black men and you can do it all by yourself – then DO JUST THAT – and stop bringing our names up about what we’re NOT DOING.

    I personally believe that these things are black men’s duties – but if you think black men are going to DO ALL THIS from a position of EQUALITY, or a subordinate position to ya’ll. You got another thing coming!

    And please stop with the “OH WE MARCHED AND WE WERE BY YOUR SIDE STUFF” because you are not 100 years old, and that wasn’t you! That’s like me pullin on Nat Turner.

  • karmen

    Black women. Even when pregnant and easily subdued, we are still seen as a threat. A pregnant woman? This is beyond race, it is about how women are treated by agressive and careless men.

  • Stephen

    Commenter “Guess”:
    Your perspective on “the cycle of punishment” indicates that you spend virtually every hour of your life as the smartest person in the room (and I pity you, friend, because it is often lonely in that space). You already agree with me, though you didn’t spell it out, that prison rape — or any kind of anarchic injury to a prisoner, whether inflicted by fellow prisoners or by officers of the state — is not only illegal in the superficial statutory sense but also forbidden by our Constitution’s “due process of law” principles, which are more precise than the 8th Amendment “cruel and unusual” principle. In short, we can allow cops or corrections officers or fellow prisoners to crack skulls (or body orifices) all they want, but we have to write it in the statute — and touche’, lets see if majorities have the audacity to try it (and then we would see what passes muster with SCOTUS). Meanwhile, a prison sentence of, say, “2 to 4 years” means just that much time in the cage, and nothing more, and therefore every prison rape or other injury is a lawsuit against We The People even if, as you already suggested, Guess, the arrested/imprisoned person is the worst ess-oh-bee on the planet.

    The quandry for police as “first responders” is that they find themselves in a chaotic situation with hazards yet undefined, perhaps back-up has not yet arrived, etc., and these cops are carrying lethal weapons in hand or in holster — therefore, cops can’t fool around with persons who want to wrestle or otherwise resist arrest. In the present case, evident in the video, the city of Rochester is going to write a big check to the woman who was supposedly pregnant. There was no reason to punch her and take her down to the ground, so roughly and suddenly — there were already plenty of police on scene to guarantee that the cops in contact with arrestees would not lose the wrestle and be disarmed, etc.

    P.S., Can you guess my philosophical orientation, how I vote, how I feel about “race” matters, etc.? As the smartest person in the room (or tied for first), you’ve already surmised that, by the presence and form of my questions, the answer(s) must be somehow counterintuitive or counter-normative. Have fun.

  • SpecialK

    I don’t give a damn about rules and that crap simply because people who are NOT in law enforcement arent privy to that information. And honestly, the rules tend to change depending on who the hell you ask anyway. I don’t like nor appreciate the treatment of that woman and feel that it was extremely excessive. She was yelling “Im pregnant! Get off me!” This is crazy. They have no compassion. And word on the block is this officer has been PROMOTED to add insult to injury. I guess he was taking care of the ‘black issue’ that the neighborhood is plagued with. Horrible.

    NOW, with that being said, I also feel that the neighbors and family members weren’t helping the situation either. They were yelling things out at the officer that weren’t appropriate nor warranted. That behavior will give the critics a reason to say that the pregnant woman deserved it. smfh This is truly upsetting.

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