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Woman resisting arrest in video sentenced to 6 months
Rochester, N.Y. - A woman who admitted she resisted arrest and assaulted a Rochester Police officer last August has been sentenced to six months in the Monroe County Jail. Brenda Hardaway could have served up to seven years in state prison.
Ms. Hardaway did not have any prior criminal record and we felt this was a fair disposition of the case, said District Attorney Sandra Doorley.
The incident was caught on cell phone cameras and went viral.
Hardaway, who was five months pregnant at the time, says she went to the aid of her brother. The video shows him being subdued with force on the front porch. It also shows Hardaway struggling with Officer Lucas Krall who strikes her in the head and brings her to the ground.
Hardaway delivered a healthy baby boy in February and has since admitted her role. "I was wrong," she said in an interview on February 2. 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.
In court she apologized to RPD and to the officer.
Judge Francis Affronti reminded Hardaway she is not a victim and said the video had no bearing on his handling of this case. Her attorney had asked for a lesser sentence, but Affronti kept to what was arranged in the plea bargain.
Outside court a group of ministers who have taken up her cause see it differently. They say the police actions recorded that day cannot be ignored. "They said she wasn't a victim. She was punched upside the head and wrestled to the ground," said Bishop Jerry McCullough.
"She did admit to it and that's okay," said Reverend Lewis Stewart. "But the question is what about the focus on the police officer? He was the one that hit her."
The men are part of a group called United Christian Leadership. They do not represent Brenda Hardaway or her family.
Prosecutors say the case was heard by a grand jury that brought the indictment. Hardaway could have gone to trial yet a conviction would potentially have brought a much harsher sentence of up to seven years in state prison.
"She was convicted upon her own actions and upon the facts of the case as she created them," said DA Doorley. "The police officer was only following his procedures in this case."
A Rochester police spokesperson released the following update on Officer Krall Tuesday:
The internal investigation was concluded on December 11, 2013. The officer was exonerated, meaning that his actions were lawful, justified, and proper.
The officer has undergone surgery for the injuries he received as a result of this incident, and remains out of work recuperating at this time.
"Why has he not been arrested?" asked Rev. Stewart. "We have got to stop covering up for the police."
The ministers had additional harsh words for the judge, prosecutors and police and say this case fuels concerns that minorities are not treated equally under the law.