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WDKX.com » Blog » Police Department Investigating Officers After Video Circulates Online
Aug 29th 2013 6:21 am
Police Department Investigating Officers After Video Circulates Online

"When you see so many police jumping on two kids, I tried to run to one, I tried to run - I couldn't do it."
Claire Taylor says she was in an emotional tug of war, watching her kids get arrested Tuesday evening by several officers with the Rochester Police Department.

"Then I looked down the street and there was so many polices coming after us. I said y'all, they gonna kill us, just go with them, just go."

The incident was caught on camera and is circulating the internet. The video shows an arrest in progress of Rome Hardaway, 16, and Brenda Hardaway, 21.

In the video, Brenda repeatedly screams she is pregnant, and is then punched in the head by an officer trying to get her to calm down.

"We do train discretionary strikes as part of our defensive tactics program, and our review will look at the circumstances of this event to determine whether it's consistent with our training," said Chief James Sheppard of the Rochester Police Department.

Police say they were called to the home by a neighbor who claimed their was a fight involving several people. Claire says she and Brenda were arguing, and although they were loud, it never got physical.

Police say when they got there, they were confronted by Rome and when they eventually tried to arrest him, he resisted.

"When they were trying to get me to stand up, I just put all my weight down and they couldn't move me," said Rome.

According to both sides, when multiple officers joined in, so did Brenda, and she was arrested and charged with assault, menacing and resisting arrest. Rome says he suffered scratches and a bruise to his arm and face.

"She might have been pregnant but she figured, they are going to hurt my brother," said Taylor.

Brenda was also charged with having pepper spray, but her mother Claire says it actually belonged to her, and it came out of a case during the scuffle.

"How can she pepper spray him and she's handcuffed?" asked Taylor.

Police say the officer sustained minor injuries during the incident. He and Brenda were treated and released from area hospitals.

The incident is now going through a standard review process, and the officer who threw the punch remains on duty.

"There's enough in that video that indicates that that needs to be investigated and it will and that's the conclusion that I've reached," said Mayor Tom Richards, D-Rochester.

City Council President Lovely Warren, who is also Richards challenger in the upcoming Democratic primary, released a statement about the arrests Wednesday night saying:

"I hope the community will join me in praying for the safety of Ms. Hardaway's unborn child.

This is a troubling situation, and I urge Chief Sheppard to open a meaningful dialogue with the family, and to help the community gain a better understanding the RPD's response."
Brenda is expected to be back in court Friday.