Horrific video shows NYPD officers pulling toddler out of his mother’s arms
A video showing police officers ripping a child away from his mother has infuriated many on the internet.
According to the Huffington Post, an incident took place on Friday and led to the arrest of one mother. The occurrence was recorded by Monae Sinclair and posted to Facebook.
In the clip, Jazmine Headley is seen on the floor holding her one-year-old baby in her arms. Three officers surround her, one of them is pulling the child away.
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"You're hurting my son!"
The aggressiveness with which the officer pulls the child is alarming. The crowd reacts accordingly, shouting against the actions of the police.
At one point, an officer threatens the crowd with a taser gun, prompting one of them to scream out:
"She has an [expletive] baby in her hands!"
A police statement later revealed that prior to the debacle, the lady sat down on the floor of the waiting room at the office for a childcare voucher.
She was in the city human resources administration's Brooklyn office, which coordinates welfare benefits in the borough. With the daycare voucher, she would be able to work as a cleaner.
A security officer asked Headley to get up, which she refused. An employee then called 911, citing "disorderly conduct towards others and obstruction of the hallway."
Sometime after, the heart-wrenching incident we see in the video took place.
Scott Hechinger who works for the Brooklyn Defender Services which is representing Headley tweeted on Monday. He claimed that the 23-year-old waited four hours with no place to sit.
Eventually, she decided to sit on the ground. When the police came to arrest her, she resisted while holding her child.
The police charged her with resisting arrest, criminal trespass, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstruction of governmental administration among other misdemeanor offenses.
Authorities allowed the child to stay with a relative while Headley remained on Rikers Island.
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted his take on the matter:
"This is unacceptable, appalling and heartbreaking. I'd like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this. It's hard to watch this video."
James O'Neill, the NYPD Commissioner, also weighed in with an official statement on Monday.
“I’ll tell you the video is very disturbing to me. [The police] have a very tough job. We were called to a chaotic situation & we’re looking at all available video to determine why certain decisions were made."
And New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also gave his take via Twitter: "The NYPD & HRA will get to the bottom of what happened."
In the meantime, the department has placed the HRA security officers on leave.
Brooklyn borough president, Eric Adams, is looking to take real steps to rectify the situation.
“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. We must do better.”
But the police union has defended the officers involved. Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president, Pat Lynch, said:
“These police officers were put in an impossible situation. 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.”
"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."
Many are strongly in disagreement and believe the situation could have been de-escalated.
Better yet, most would wish that more NYPD officers were like this one who decided to sing Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" over an intercom.
In mid-November, onlookers in the East Village got an unexpected surprise. A Manhattan officer named Richard Gunther lifted spirits while on patrol with his partner.
He played the song and sang along. He even invited the growing crowd to join in.
We hope that more officers can enter difficult situations with kind hearts although they have to get the job done.
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