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Did Cop Who Punched 'Pregnant' Woman Use Too Much Force?
August 30, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Did Cop Who Punched 'Pregnant' Woman Use Too Much Force?

by Rebecca Stokes

arrests, pregnant woman arrestedThe police have issued a statement regarding their recent controversial arrest of a 16-year-old teen boy and his 21-year-old sister, Brenda Hardaway, who claims to be pregnant. The story garnered public notice when a video was released of the sister being arrested with what appears to be an undue amount of violence. In the video, she tells the officer she is pregnant as he attempts to cuff her. Eventually, the officer punches her in the head and moves her forcibly to the ground. The Rochester Police argue this claim, saying that their officers acted with "tremendous restraint."

The reason the officers gave for their arrest tactics? They claim that the pregnant woman had pointed a can of pepper spray at them. However, if that is indeed what took place, it wasn't captured on the video which later made its way to YouTube.

Police officers find themselves in high-risk situations every day. Many have lost their lives as they try to do their job and keep the streets safe. Seen from that perspective, you could argue that the police officer was doing what he saw necessary to prevent harm.

Of course, there are times when forceful methods can and should be used when apprehending suspects. If a woman is pointing a gun at a crowd, would you expect the police to keep their hands off of her simply because she is pregnant? No. You wouldn't.

But watching the video a second time, it's harder to believe that this was an instance where the correct amount of force was used. Even if the woman did threaten him with pepper spray, she was well subdued after the fact. The punching and subsequent behavior just seems like it was driven by panic and anger.

Do you think the officer used too much force in this case?


  • Maxi_Maxi
    August 30, 2013 at 8:35 AM
    Holy crap.
  • Lunarprancer
    August 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM


    Nevermind, saw it.

    I agree with another poster, don't resist arrest.

  • Anonymous 1
    by Anonymous 1
    August 30, 2013 at 8:38 AM
    I wouldn't say too much force, just not the right kind. There was no reason for him to punch her in the head/face. But cops are human too and even though they have plenty of training, I think sometimes get caught up in the moment. Not saying that excuses his behavior but at the same time, I can understand that he may have lost his cool in a very heated situation. Again, his specific actions were not ok in my book but I do think force was needed. I do think he deserves some sort of reprimanding as well.

    As for the woman, I don't even know where to start. If she is really pregnant and was that worried about her unborn child, she never should have resisted and certainly not to that extent. Honestly, I feel she has no one to blame but herself for what happened to her.
  • littlesippycup
    August 30, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    The smack/punch to the head was too much, everything else? Don't resist arrest.

  • tammyhunt11
    August 30, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    I think the punch to the head wasn't really necessary but other than that I don't see that the officer did anything wrong here. I think she wasn't listening to what the officer was telling her to do. It doesn't look like it was a calm situation and the police were trying to gain control. The brother said she didn't want to put her hands behind her back., but when being arrested that is what you have to do. The brother also so "I know I was resisting arrest...". You just can't do that.

  • Anonymous 2
    by Anonymous 2
    August 30, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Here's the vid- pepper spray or not she was fighting the whole time so...

  • ghostcat90
    August 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    She's lucky that's all they did to her.  She should NOT have resisted arrest and it would have been okay, that cop was not roughing her up or anything but she fought him the whole time.  I would say the punch was justified.

  • Crymsm
    by Crymsm
    August 30, 2013 at 8:55 AM
    For all we know she said that to get out of being arrested...he was clearly having a hard time getting her under control so maybe he thought hitting her would throw her off?
  • Mrs_Nelson
    August 30, 2013 at 8:58 AM
  • momof2boy2girl
    August 30, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    She shouldn't have resisted. From what I gathered about the back story (which may be inaccurate) they were there to arrest someone else when she started making threats. When they decided to arrest her, she resisted. She is entirely at fault for the entire thing no matter what the back story is. If you do not want to get taken to the ground, don't resist arrest.

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