Update: All charges against the mother have been dropped.
A shocking video has lead to an investigation into the conduct of a group of New York City Police officers over the weekend. In the video, a group of officers stands above a mother holding a baby. The mother is screaming that the officers are scaring and hurting her son. Bystanders gasp as male officer tugs and attempts to rip the infant from the mother’s arms. According to witnesses, the entire incident started because the mother had nowhere to sit.
According to a report on WABC, Jazmine Headley went to the Human Resource Administration building in Brooklyn to obtain a daycare voucher for her son. Headley accepted a cleaning position but needed the coupon to help pay for daycare expenses.
Witnesses say the office was hectic, and there were no empty seats for Headley to sit with her son. Because she was holding her son and needed to wait, Headley sat on the floor. According to witnesses, Headley was not blocking any doors or aisles with where she sat on the floor.
When a security guard saw Headley on the ground, they asked her to move. Headley refused to stand up because she didn’t want to stand holding her child. After the security guard failed to persuade her to move, Police officers disbursed and surrounded the mother.
Another person waiting in the room took out their phone to capture what happened next. As the video opens, a handful of officers are standing above Headley. She is heard screaming and asking the police not to hurt her child.
Terrified of what was happening, the child clings to Headley. When the child does not let go of his mother, one officer starts playing tug of war with Headley and the baby. The baby is jostled back and forth while screaming.
At this point, Headley is in fight or flight mode and trying to save her baby. Witnesses are heard gasping and screaming at officers to leave the woman alone.
When several individuals waiting attempt to step in and help Headley, a female officer pulls out a taser and threatens to use it on anyone that comes near them.
Eventually, the male officer forcibly rips the screaming baby from Headley. Then the officers flip Headley on to her face, push down her legs, and put her hands behind her back to cuff her.
Officers aggressively pull Headley to her feet, and she is screaming for her baby. She lunges trying to find her child, and officers walk her out of the room.
Following the incident, authorities charged her with resisting arrest, obstruction, trespassing, and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
After her arrest, police say they found an outstanding warrant for Headley in New Jersey. Headley is still in jail, being held with no bond, and prohibited from seeing her son.
The video has sparked outrage from city leaders. Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, demanded the police drop the charges.
Headley’s family is outraged and horrified by the treatment Headley faced at the Human Resource Administration. Her mother told WABC,
“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,” Headley’s mother Jacqueline Jenkins said.
Nyasia Ferguson, who took the video, told WABC that Headley was quietly waiting and sat on the floor. Ferguson stated that Headley wasn’t blocking any entrances, exits, or aisles.
She said that officers continued to harass Headley to move. Additionally, she said that others stood up for Headley and asked officers to stop bothering her.
Advocates for Headly say that she committed no crime. They say that Headley’s only offense was going to the office for the voucher and using the floor to rest with her baby. Headley never received the coupon nor did she make it work.
Instead, Headley remains jailed in Brooklyn until her court date on Thursday. When the District Attorney got news of the video, they said they would open an investigation.
“Our office is conducting an independent investigation into this troubling case, and we are in the process of reviewing all available videos and interviewing witnesses with the intention of reaching a swift decision,” a spokesperson said. “We did not request any bail, and Ms. Headley’s hold is in connection with a warrant from New Jersey. We are reaching out to authorities in that state to expedite her release.”
After watching the video, there is no way for anyone to not have a vile and visceral reaction. Between the baby and mother screaming, to the horrific and aggressive way officers acted, the entire scene is disturbing and sad. If witness accounts are correct, officers treated Headly terribly.
Hopefully, the pressure applied by the city leaders will force the District Attorney to take action against these officers. There is no reason they needed to treat a woman and a child this recklessly.
Watch the full video below and tell me your thoughts: