Mom with son arrested in NYPD dispute over mask in dramatic video

NYC mayor responds to the video: 'It shouldn't have gone down that way, period.'

Social Distance Mom NYPD
Social Distance Mom NYPD

A young mother in New York City was arrested in front of her son on Wednesday afternoon following an altercation with transit police that quickly escalated. 

Kaleemah Rozier, 22, was walking through the Atlantic Avenue/Barclay’s Center station in Brooklyn wearing her mask around her neck. Officers asked her to put it on, and she became irate. 

READ MORE: Video of NYPD violent arrest over social distancing sparks outrage

According to a report from ABC7, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the officers were polite and informed the woman she could not enter the transit system without properly wearing her mask. Rozier allegedly responded with a profanity-laced tirade that included threats to “cough on all of you.”

Rozier was removed twice from the subway station but still continued to re-enter while refusing to put on her mask. On the third encounter, officers alleged that she struck them as she tried to pull away. It was at that time, that the young woman was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and harassment. 

The arrest was captured on video with fellow transit riders pleading with officers to not handle the woman roughly. 

The dramatic video of the arrest has been viewed over 1.2 million times with Twitter users asking if it was worth the trauma to the child. 

New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, responded to the video that while “face coverings are important to everybody — they’re not optional,” he also maintained that “no one wants to see an interaction turn into this.” 

“It shouldn’t have gone down that way, period,” de Blasio added. “Does not respect our values. It’s not what will we want to see in the city.”

READ MORE: 35 of the 40 NYPD arrests over social distancing were Black

The enforcement of social distancing has become a major problem for the NYPD. There have been numerous interactions that have escalated to violence. According to a report by CBS2, between March 16 and May 5, police issued 368 summonses and 168 arrests related to social distancing. 

Nearly 68% of those arrested were Black, 24% were Hispanic, while only 7% were white.