Rochester cop punches pregnant woman in back of head, bodyslams her to sidewalk

The officer jamming an elbow into the woman after face-planting her into the sidewalk. (Source: Youtube)
A clear shot of the officer.  (Source: Youtube)
A clear shot of the officer. (Source: Youtube)

ROCHESTER, NY — An officer for the Rochester Police Department was recorded on video getting punching a pregnant woman in the back of the head and a body-slamming her face first into a sidewalk.

Details are unclear about who the subjects are, but the actions of the officer are very clearly excessive at the moment they were used.

An unidentified woman and her 16-year-old brother were being arrested by a swarm of Rochester police officers, for reasons unknown.

Rochester Police Department (Source: Youtube)
Rochester Police Department (Source: Youtube)

The woman was yelling loudly and not complying with the officer.  While an officer struggled with her, she screamed, “Get off of me, you’re gonna kill my baby.”

“I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant,” she yelled.

The officer jamming an elbow into the woman after face-planting her into the sidewalk. (Source: Youtube)
The officer jamming an elbow into the woman after face-planting her into the sidewalk. (Source: Youtube)

That’s when an unidentified police officer balled his fist and punched the woman in the back of the head.

The officer followed up his punch by holding his weight against the woman and falling with her onto the sidewalk, face first.

The woman screamed and the bystanders cried out in shock.

“I’m five months pregnant,” the woman said in disbelief.

Officers are then seen dragging off the woman and her brother to patrol cars.

The female bystanders expressed their disapproval for several minutes.

While the woman was not being cooperative, the force did not appear to be justified at the time it was being used. will follow up with further information about the subjects in the video when they become available.

You can view the whole confrontation via the video below.

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UPDATE – August 28, 2013

The coverage of the video through the alternative media has led to a large public outcry toward the Rochester Police Department as well as toward the media.  Thousands of viewers have draw attention to this case.

The woman has been identified as 21-year-old Brenda Hardaway.  She interfered when her brother was being arrested for disorderly conduct.  She’s been charged with second degree assault, resisting arrest, third degree menacing and unlawful possession of a noxious material.

Note: It is illegal in New York to possess pepper spray (the noxious material charge), unless you are a police officer.

The officer, still unidentified, remains on the street.   His chief defended the punch to the back of her head.   “When we receive resistance from an individual, we may strike you in a way that changes your channel so to speak. In a way that changes your resistance,” Chief James Sheppard said.

Police State USA does not condone the actions of the woman, but would like to point out that her squirming around did not justify “changing her channel” with a dangerous and unnecessary blow to the back of the head.  She was being obnoxious and uncooperative, but posed no threat to the officer.  Force of that kind was excessive.

More info:  YouTube video center of Rochester Police Department investigation |

Contact the Rochester Police Department at the sources below:

Rochester Police Department
City Public Safety Building
185 Exchange Blvd.
Rochester NY 14614

Chief of Police: (585) 428-7033
Main Office: (585) 428-9820

Facebook: Rochester NY Police Department

Department Phone Number Directory: Contact us

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