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Mum To Receive $625,000 After NYC Police Took Baby Away At Benefits Office

by : Emily Brown on : 15 Dec 2019 14:34
Mum To Receive $625,000 After NYC Police Took Baby Away At Benefits OfficeMum To Receive $625,000 After NYC Police Took Baby Away At Benefits OfficeEyewitness News ABC7NY

A mum is set to receive $625,000 in compensation after police in New York yanked her 18-month-old son out of her arms. 

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New York City’s law department agreed to the payout on Friday, December 13, to resolve the lawsuit, which 24-year-old mum Jazmine Headley filed in August.

The shocking, aggressive incident took place last December, when Headley was at a Brooklyn benefits office with her son.

Footage taken at the time shows how police pulled at her child:

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The video, taken by an onlooker, went viral on social media and resulted in outrage as viewers condemned the way the police had acted.

The incident is believed to have started after Headley sat on the floor because there were no chairs available at the benefits office. She was asked to stand up and a security guard called police when the mum refused.

Footage shows officers attempting to pull the toddler from his mum’s arms, despite her protests that they were hurting him.

Officers attempt to pull toddler from mum's armsOfficers attempt to pull toddler from mum's armsEyewitness News ABC7NY

At one point, an officer pulled out a stun gun as an onlooker shouted: ‘There’s a f*cking baby in her hands!’

Headley was charged with resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration and criminal trespass and spent four days in jail before Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez dropped the charges, USA Today reported.

In a statement, Gonzalez said:

Like everyone who watched the arrest of Jazmine Headley, I was horrified by the violence depicted in the video. It is clear to me that this incident should have been handled diffidently.

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Eric GonzalezEric GonzalezWikimedia Commons

Following the incident, Headley testified before the city council, which offered her a public apology and passed legislation aimed at improving how people are treated at benefits offices and making the system more transparent.

However, in August the mum filed a lawsuit alleging her child suffered physically and mentally as a result of the incident. She also claimed her name and image would forever be associated with that ‘traumatic and violent experience’.

After the city agreed to pay out, Headley’s lawyers, Katherine Rosenfeld and Emma Freeman, said the mum insisted ‘this incident was not just about her, but about the dignity of every young woman of colour raising her family with immense love and hard work, in a difficult world’.

Mum to get compensation after police pull toddler from her armsMum to get compensation after police pull toddler from her armsPA Images

The lawyers added:

Through her intelligence, bravery, and grace, Jazmine Headley turned the worst ordeal of her life – and of any parents – into an opportunity for change for the entire city.

The two guards who initially confronted Headley during the December 2018 incident were suspended for 30 days without pay.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Brooklyn, Eric Gonzalez, Jazmine Headley, new york city, Police

Credits

Eyewitness News ABC7NY/YouTube and 1 other
  1. Eyewitness News ABC7NY/YouTube

    Officers pry 1-year-old from mom's arms during arrest

  2. USA Today

    Lawsuit: NYC to pay mom $625k after police ripped son from her arms in video