2 Black moms call for investigation after being separated from babies, handcuffed by Secret Service

The women, who are now represented by counsel, said that an officer told them that the car they were in had been reported stolen by two Black men

Two young mothers are alleging that Secret Service agents detained them and separated them from their small children as they sat in their car near the White House. 

The women, who are now represented by counsel, said that an officer told them that the car they were in had been reported stolen by two African American men. However, the women asserted that no men were with them, and provided proof of ownership. 

READ MORE: Black mother outraged after police and Secret Service called on 10-year-old son with play money on school bus

26-year-old India Johnson and Yasmeen Winston, 25, told The Washington Post that they were planning to take their babies to splash in the fountains at the World War II Memorial. 

However, as they sat getting ready to leave the car, a Secret Service vehicle hit their car. Then the women allege that rifles were pulled on them and one point the guns were in their faces. 

“This incident took place near our national monuments across from the White House,” their attorney, Timothy Maloney, wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray

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Demonstrators walk past the World War II Memorial during a protest against police brutality and racism on June 6, 2020 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Maloney questioned the timing of the incident, stating that it occurred after weeks of national demonstrations about police misconduct.

“Has the Secret Service learned nothing this summer?” 

In the article, the women say that they were handcuffed and detained in the back of a vehicle separated from their two small children for nearly an hour. They allege that the Secret Service searched the vehicle without permission, and denied Winston’s request to breastfeed her six-month-old son. They said, instead, an ambulance was called to check on the children. 

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The women have been best friends since seventh grade and moved from Maryland to D.C. together. 

“I had to stay strong, somebody had to be strong. I wanted to cry, but I’m not going to let them see me cry,” Winston said. “The fact that our kids had to witness this? Nobody wants to introduce their kids to this.”

“I could have been another Breonna Taylor,” Winston said. “I could have been another innocent woman who has no record and got shot.”

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A Secret Service spokesperson told The Post that the agency is investigating the “alleged interaction.” They stated that they are “looking into the matter,” and have “no further comment at this time.” 

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