Jazmine Headley made headlines when a video of her son being ripped from her arms, took flight and put the NYPD under fire for its excessive force toward the woman and put a spotlight on its hostile treatment toward people at public benefits office, The New York Times reported.
Headley went to the office to find out why her son’s daycare subsidy was cut. She sat on the floor with her baby’s stroller beside her and that turned into the chaotic arrest and the shocking video that shows officers ripping the child in Headley’s arms.
The mom was arrested on charges which included obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing.
Video of the disturbing encounter at a New York City social services office quickly sparked public outrage. By Tuesday, all charges against her regarding that incident were dismissed, with Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez saying he was acting “in the interest of justice.”
“It’s the story of many other people, it’s not just my story,” Headley said in an interview. “My story is the only one that made it to the surface.”
Headley’s family told CBS New York the young mother had been waiting nearly four hours to renew daycare vouchers when a security officer confronted her.
Headley intends to file a lawsuit over the incident.
She got into an argument with a female security guard who told her she could not stay seated on the floor. The woman called police but Headley said she tried to leave once the police arrived on the scene.
“In my head, I told myself they’re not going to let me leave,” she said. “I was so afraid. I was combative with my thoughts.”
The guard reportedly grabbed her arm as she tried to get up and leave and that’s when the confrontation started.
“I just remember being talked to very viciously,” she said. “It was more or less: ‘You’re going to do what I say, and that’s it.’”
“I should’ve left, and I didn’t because if I would’ve left, my son would not have the things that he needs,” Headley said.
The two security guards involved in the incident have been suspended.
Mae Green, an administrator at Bethel Baptist Church, has pointed out that people at public benefits officers are often mistreated by police.
“They call the cops for everything, even if you’re smoking outside,” Green said.
Headley said she’s happy with the outpouring of love and support she’s received.