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Friday, December 14, 2018

Charges Dropped Against Black Mother Who Was Violently Arrested By Police While Holding Her Child

Jazmine Headley, Black mother who was violently arrested, finally reunited with her son

Jazmine Headley, Black mother who was violently arrested, finally reunited with her son

Brooklyn, NY — Five days after a shocking video went viral of a Black mother hopelessly trying to keep her baby in her arms while police officers forcibly pulled her baby away during an arrest, all charges have been dropped against her. Jazmine Headley, the 23-year old mother, has been released and reunited with her son.

Last Friday, police were reportedly called in to a Brooklyn Human Resources Administration office after a Headley allegedly showed “disorderly conduct towards others and for obstructing the hallway” when she sat on the floor and refused to get up even after the security guards commanded her.

Apparently, Headley had been waiting for over four hours at the social services office to receive daycare reimbursement. The room was full at that time and there were no more seats available. So instead of standing for long hours, she decided to sit on the floor with her baby. A security guard confronted her and when she didn’t heed, they called the police.

A short video posted on Facebook shows Headley holding her baby firmly while lying on the floor where she is surrounded by police officers and security guards. The officers could be seen repeatedly ripping her baby away from her.

“They’re hurting my son,” Headley could be heard saying. The officers, however, kept on yanking her 1-year-old son away and allegedly used a taser on her.

Headley was arrested on multiple charges, including acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration, criminal trespass, and resisting arrest, which are all misdemeanor offenses. She had been held at Rikers Island for five days.

On Tuesday morning, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez dropped all those charges. “It is clear to me that this incident should have been handled differently,” he said in a statement. “The consequences this young and desperate mother has already suffered as a result of this arrest far outweigh any conduct that may have led to it: she and her baby have been traumatized.”

However, Headley had to remain in jail for an unrelated warrant from New Jersey which was issued in July 2017 after she failed to appear in court for an arraignment on charges of third-degree credit card theft and fourth-degree trafficking in personal identifying information.

Brooklyn Defender Services helped Headley be released on the out-of-state warrant. Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Craig Walker heeded and ordered for her release.

Headley has reunited with her son on Tuesday evening. “I’m just happy to be free,” she said. “I just need to see my boy.”

Meanwhile, Letitia James, the Public Advocate and state attorney general-elect, expressed her disappointment upon watching the video. She said, “Being poor is not a crime. No mother should have to experience the trauma and humiliation we all witnessed in this video.”

Additionally, in an unrelated press conference two days after the incident, Mayor Bill De Blasio apologized to Headley and said, “We will put in place specific changes to make sure this does not happen again. She posed no threat whatsoever. I watched the video… there was no call for that type of response.”

Two of the security guards have been placed on modified duty after the incident. There are also ongoing investigations on both the Human Resources administration and the New York Police Department.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up by Brooklyn Defender Services to “help her pay for child care and other expenses, allowing her to get back to the job and life that is waiting for her.” The fund has so far amounted to over $35,000, exceeding the $25,000 goal.

Watch the raw footage below:

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