Woman in viral video with RPD says 'lessons learned'
Updated: Tuesday, March 4 2014, 03:10 PM EST
Rochester, N.Y. - At home with her two-week old baby, Brenda Hardaway said she has a new perspective on life.
“I’m so happy to be a mom,” Hardaway said as she stared down at her sleeping son, Legend. “He’s a tragic little kid but he made it.”
For about three months of her pregnancy, Hardaway was at the Monroe County Jail facing five charges, including assault on a police officer.
“I don’t think the justice system played me any kind of fairness in this.”
Hardaway made national headlines when the video of her arrest and the events that led up to it went viral in August.
“When I watch the video, still to this day, I hate watching it. I cry because it’s horrifying, I hate it,” Hardaway said.
The video shows Hardaway struggling with Rochester Police Officer Lucas Krull while he tried to handcuff her.
As you see Hardaway resisting, you can hear her repeatedly tell police that’s she’s pregnant. Krull then knocked the 21-year-old in the back of the head; she said she was five months pregnant at the time.
Hardaway said she was trying to protect her 16-year-old brother from police but now, looking back, she wished she had never gotten involved.
“Am I in the wrong for helping my brother? –I guess, and now he [Legend] got to pay for it because when I come home he’s not going to know me a whole six months, he’s not going to know me”
The new mother took a plea deal, expected to be sentenced to six months in jail, five years on probation.
“We both did something wrong but I feel like I’m the only one getting punished,” Hardaway said, “He went back to work the next day.”
Hardaway said because the video went viral, she thinks authorities made an example of her. “I’m not saying I was right, because I was wrong. If I would have just put my hands behind my back and just went and got in the car, none of this would have happened.”
While she admitted she was at fault, Hardaway said the video of the events that led up to her arrest show a bigger issue— a disconnect between the police and the people they serve.
“The way our Rochester Police Department act, they feel like they are above the law and they're not.” Hardaway said, “We're all human, everybody makes mistakes.”
Now, Hardaway prepares to face the consequences of her mistakes as she gets ready to leave her newborn son. Due back in court in March for sentencing, Hardaway said, “I just wish I could turn back the hands of time, if I could take it all back I would.”
Hardaway said she still does not know if the 56 days she served in jail during her pregnancy will go toward her sentence. “I just feel through this thing it wasn’t fair but what can I do.”
Hardaway said now all she can do is apologize to her family and the police officer involved. “Yea, I apologize. I don’t know his name but I apologize, I definitely do.”