NYPD Officers Are Shown Ripping A Child From His Mother's Arms At A Food Stamp Center In An "Appalling" Video
"They're hurting my son!"
A video posted to Facebook on Friday shows New York Police Department officers attempting to rip a child from his mother's arms at a Brooklyn social services office, prompting calls for an investigation.
An NYPD spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Monday that the incident is under review: "Video images of the incident in the 84th precinct are troubling, and the event is under review by the NYPD and HRA Police. This review will include examination of all available video of the incident."
The video shows a young woman lying on the floor clutching her child in her arms, surrounded by officers who are aggressively yanking the boy from her grasp.
The woman is screaming, "They're hurting my son!" as one officer violently jerks the child in an attempt to separate the two. People in the crowded room can be heard on the video yelling, "Oh my god!" and "Look what they're doing to her!"
At one point, as people in the crowd begin to press toward the group of police and the young mother, an officer removes a Taser and waves it, pointing it at people.
It is unclear what happened before the video starts. The woman who uploaded the footage — which has been viewed more than 200,000 times as of Monday morning — wrote that the young mother was waiting to be seen at the Fort Greene Food Stamp Center on Friday and seated herself and her child on the floor because there were no available chairs.
She alleged that a security guard told the mother to move and called the police when she refused, citing the lack of chairs.
Per the police statement, "The NYPD was called after office staff and HRA peace officers made unsuccessful attempts remove this individual from the facility due to her disorderly conduct towards others, and for obstructing the hallway."
Police said in the statement that it was the Human Resources Administration officers who brought the woman to the floor "As NYPD officers were attempting to convince the woman to depart the facility."
Police confirmed to BuzzFeed News Monday that the woman shown being taken into custody in the video is Jazmine Headley, 23. She is being charged with resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration, and trespassing. Online corrections records show that Headley is currently in custody at Rikers Island jail. The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office told BuzzFeed News that it did not ask for bail.
The 1-year-old child was taken into custody by a family member and the Administration for Children's Services was informed, police said.
Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of Brooklyn Defender Services, told CNN that Headley was at the center because her childcare benefit had ended, and without daycare for her son, she would be forced to quit her job. She had been at the center for more than four hours waiting to be seen when she was told to stop sitting on the floor, despite the fact that there were no empty chairs in the room.
"The escalation of this not only points out something very disturbing about the police and police solutions to these incidences, but it also highlights how one decision on the police to arrest somebody can actually really fan out and create so many consequences for this family," Schreibersdorf said.
The viral video has prompted calls from elected officials for an investigation into the incident and particularly the methods used by the NYPD during Headley's arrest.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also commented on the incident via a tweet linking to the video.
The Brooklyn District Attorney's office issued a statement on Monday morning that they are looking into the incident, and clarified that Headley is being held without bail "in connection with a warrant from New Jersey."
The Mercer County Sheriff's Office told CNN that Headley's arrest warrant is from July 2017 for failing to appear in court in relation to credit card fraud.