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Durkin writes: "Video of officers struggling to arrest woman and remove one-year-old boy from her arms sparks outrage and an investigation."

New York City police. (photo: Latest)
New York City police. (photo: Latest)


'Appalling' Video Shows NYPD Officers Wrenching Baby From Mother's Arms

By Erin Durkin, Guardian UK

11 December 18


Video of officers struggling to arrest woman and remove one-year-old boy from her arms sparks outrage and an investigation

video of New York police officers wrenching a baby from his mother’s arms has sparked outrage and an investigation by the NYPD.

The video shows the woman lying on the floor of a Brooklyn benefits office as several officers struggle to arrest her and remove the one-year-old boy from her arms, as she cries out, “You’re hurting my son.”

At one point, an officer pulls out a Taser and waves it at a crowd of onlookers objecting to the police actions. Eventually the woman, 23-year-old Jazmine Headley, is dragged to her feet and removed in handcuffs.

“This is unacceptable, appalling and heartbreaking,” said the New York City council speaker, Corey Johnson. “I’d like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this. It’s hard to watch this video.”

The scuffle broke out on Friday afternoon at a Brooklyn office of the city human resources administration, which administers welfare benefits in the city.

There were no seats available, so the mother sat on the floor in a corner, according to witness Monae Sinclair, who posted the video on Facebook. A security guard told her to stand, and when she refused, called police.

“She had her baby in her hands the whole time,” Sinclair wrote. “I’m a mother myself & I would’ve lost my fucking mind if this was me they would’ve had to kill me.”

Headley remains locked up on Rikers Island, charged with criminal trespassing, resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and obstruction of governmental administration.

The Brooklyn borough president, Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, plans to visit the HRA office on Monday and call for the charges to be dropped.

“Something’s terribly wrong when the most well-trained police department can’t resolve a dispute with a mother and child without looking like @RealDonaldTrump‘s southern border strategy,” he said. “We must do better.”

The NYPD in a statement called the incident “troubling”.

“The event is under review by the NYPD and HRA police. This review will include examination of all available video of the incident,” the department said.

Police were responding to a 911 call for harassment at the office after HRA security “made unsuccessful attempts to remove this individual from the facility due to her disorderly conduct towards others and for obstructing the hallway”, the NYPD said.

“The woman was then informed by police numerous times to leave the location, and she refused. As NYPD officers were attempting to convince the woman to depart the facility, HRA peace officers brought the woman to the floor. NYPD officers then attempted to place her under arrest. She refused to comply with officers’ orders, and was then taken into custody.”

Headley’s mother told ABC 7 that she had gone to the office to apply for a voucher for daycare for her son, so she could take a job as a cleaner.

“I was devastated to see something like that happen to my daughter and grandson. And how this officer yanking on my grandson to get him out of my daughter’s arms,” said the mother, Jacqueline Jenkins.

Headley refused medical attention for herself and the one-year-old boy, and no officers were injured, according to the NYPD. A family member took custody of the baby.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who did not address the video at a public appearance at a ceremony for a board that handles police brutality complaints, in a tweet called it “a disturbing incident”.

“Like anyone who’s watched this video, I have a lot of questions about how this was handled,” he said, adding that authorities would “get to the bottom of what happened”.

The Brooklyn district attorney said his office was conducting its own independent investigation of the incident and is attempting to expedite Headley’s release. She is being held due to an open arrest warrant from New Jersey related to a misdemeanor credit card crime.

The police union defended the officers. “These police officers were put in an impossible situation,” said the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president, Pat Lynch.

“They didn’t create the dispute at the HRA office – as always, they were called in to deal with the inevitable fallout when the rest of our city government fails in its task,” he said. “Their objective was to enforce the law while protecting the safety of this mother, her child and every person in that office, some of whom were actively making a tense situation worse. The event would have unfolded much differently if those at the scene had simply complied with the officers’ lawful orders.”

The Brooklyn city councilman Steve Levin, who chairs the general welfare committee, said a witness told him Headley “was not acting erratically or in any way a risk to her child”.

NYPD officers have received training in de-escalation of conflicts, but critics said the opposite was in evidence in the video.

“I was totally appalled at what happened to this mother and her child,” Levin said. “I cannot imagine a circumstance in which the actions of the officers depicted in the video are anywhere near appropriate.”

Two peace officers from HRA involved in the incident are being placed on modified duty, the mayor’s office said later on Monday.

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+6 # indian weaving 2018-12-11 13:48
Well, Trump and ICE have established child prison camps, so Trump and ICE think it's merely one more evil Mom and baby needing behavior modifications. No biggie to them by now.
 
 
+4 # Glen 2018-12-11 15:22
No moral human being would engage in a tug of war with a baby. It does not matter the reason they assumed was the problem, there was a BABY involved. They, no doubt, injured that baby more than anyone in attendance. If this one particular officer and his cohorts with tasers are not punished then we could easily expect one more possibly violent protest. Who is training these damn cops?!
 
 
+3 # WBoardman 2018-12-11 17:21
Well, this is local – Brooklyn – and the liberal mayor de Blasio
tweets that it's "disturbing."

Sorry to disturb him
while the woman spends 4 nights in jail
for trying to get child care
so she can work.
 
 
+3 # Texas Aggie 2018-12-11 20:07
“Their objective was to enforce the law while protecting the safety of this mother, her child and every person in that office, some of whom were actively making a tense situation worse."

If that was their objective, they are total failures. They need to find other means of employment where their ineptitude is less of a danger to the public.

In reality their objective should have been to restore order. Since there was no disorder to restore until they got there and created it, then they should have just quietly left. Instead now they should be charged with disorderly conduct.
 
 
0 # candida 2018-12-11 21:57
Quoting Texas Aggie:
“... they should be charged with disorderly conduct.


...and child endangerment!
 

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