A woman whose 1-year-old child was wrenched from her arms by officers in New York City in a video that went viral is to receive a cash settlement from the city.
Jazmine Headley is set to receive a $625,000 settlement after filing a lawsuit in federal court in August over the incident last year, NBC affiliate WNBC reported.
Headley was holding her child while at a social-services office in Brooklyn on Dec. 7, 2018, to inquire about her child care benefits, her lawsuit says.
She was sitting on the floor in a crowded waiting room, the suit says, when officers at the agency demanded she leave. She responded that she wanted to see a suprevisor.
Video of the incident taken by a bystander and posted on social media shows Headley on the floor on her back with several officers surrounding her as one tried to rip her child from her arms. She can be heard saying, “They’re hurting my son! They’re hurting my son.”
The scene quickly escalated as bystanders surrounded the chaos and shouted over each other. One person is heard saying, “Oh my God! Look what they’re doing to her.”
Officers for the city’s social services agency were the first to respond to Headley, the New York Police Department said shortly after the incident. NYPD officers acted in support.
Immediately after the altercation, Headley faced possible charges for resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration and criminal trespass — but all charges were eventually dropped.
“Headley had been humiliated, assaulted, physically injured, threatened with a taser, brutally separated from her son, handcuffed, arrested, and jailed—all by employees of the City of New York,” her lawsuit claims.
Her son, who was still breastfeeding at the time, “had been brutally wrenched from his mother’s arms, taken by strangers to a police precinct, and released to spend the night without his mother for the first time in his life,” according to the suit.
Days after the incident, Mayor Bill de Blasio apologized to her publicly.
De Blasio’s spokeswoman, Olivia Lapeyrolerie, said in a statement on Friday that the city failed to treat Headley with dignity and respect, NBC affiliate WNBC reported.
“While this injustice should have never happened, it forced a reckoning with how we treat our most vulnerable,” Lapeyrolerie said.
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