This post is definitely different from my typical entries…I attended a rally in support of a young lady named Tatyana. Tatyana was a victim of police brutality here in Bakersfield. I am so thankful that Tatyana is still here to be able to tell her story but that statement alone has become too common. When we see injustice of this magnitude, we truly are thankful to see our people make it out alive, but that is NOT the way you should feel when describing interactions with the police.
I am now going to describe to you the situation that Tatyana found herself in on father’s day of 2017. The police were contacted about a man being a disturbance at a local store with a weapon, a machete to be exact. Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) was given the description of the assailant as a bald African American Male, wearing a white t-shirt, wearing a pink backpack, and approximately 5’10” tall. Although Tatyana is African American and had a pink backpack on that day, she was missing some MAJOR pieces of that description. Now, a pink backpack instead of red…I could give that one to the BPD…that’s close enough to warrant a bit of curiosity. However, she is a female with a head full of curly hair. STRIKE ONE AND TWO. Lastly, Tatyana is 5’2″!!!!!! Now that’s STRIKE 3!!! Those arresting officers need to be punished.
Tatyana was up against 2 adult men holding her down while being mauled by their k9. This attack was last month and she is still on crutches. It is unacceptable! The rally was held with the goal of holding the BPD accountable for their actions. They have pressed charges on Tatyana claiming that she was resisting arrest to excuse the physical harm that was caused for her mistaken identity without even initiating an investigation into the wrongdoing of the arresting officers. An investigation was only opened once the officer’s vest cam footage was leaked and the country became outraged. This is all too common. Many of the speakers at this rally were victims of similar encounters…unfortunately, not all victims have footage to prove their innocence or even live to tell their side of the story. There is no telling how many people are currently imprisoned for this or the number that will come in the future.
What can we do? It’s sad to admit, but there are so many evil people with power, where do we even turn? I agree with the statement that “not all officers are bad” but there are enough bad officers to make many minorities fear for their lives while doing basic daily activities. No Justice, No Peace!!!!