A viral video shows NYPD officers attempting to rip a baby from his mother’s arms, prompting an outcry from local officials — and a vow from the department to investigate the incident.
As NBC News reported, the incident took place inside a Brooklyn social services office last week, and video showed mother Jazmine Headley on the ground surrounded by police officers. As witnesses said, the woman was sitting on the floor with her infant because the waiting room was filled, and all of the chairs were taken. When she was asked to stand up, the woman refused.
The video showed Headley curled up on the floor — protecting her baby boy — as several officers tried to take the baby away. At one point, an officer attempted to aggressively rip the boy from her arms, but the woman did not loosen her grip.
“They’re hurting my son! They’re hurting my son,” Headley could be heard yelling in the video.
A crowd of people soon gathered around, many yelling at police to stop trying to rip the baby from his mother’s arms. At one point, an officer pulled a stun gun and pointed it toward the crowd, in what appeared to be a threat to make them to move away.
Reports noted that the woman was at the social services office to apply for daycare vouchers for her son at the time the incident took place.
Jazmine Headley was trying to get daycare vouchers for her son but wound up violently arrested and sent to Rikers.https://t.co/X7HnS6cN4W— BET (@BET) December 10, 2018
After the video was posted to Facebook on Friday, the reaction was immediate. It quickly garnered thousands of views and shares, with many people speaking out against the actions of the NYPD officers. Some prominent local officials joined in, including top NYPD brass.
“The video, obviously, is disturbing. It’s very disturbing to me,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said, via ABC News. “I’m a dad. I have two kids. But being a cop is a really difficult job.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, himself a former captain in the NYPD, appeared at a news conference outside the social services office. He said that the incident should have never happened.
The NYPD is now investigating the incident. It is not clear if any of the officers involved have, or could be, facing discipline.
Horrifying state violence:— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) December 10, 2018
•NYPD violently yank an infant from its mother—Jazmine Headley
•Headley sat on the SNAP office floor b/c there were no chairs
•Got money for cops to abuse a mom but not for chairs?????
POC & White Allies: Record Everythingpic.twitter.com/PdHvtOiWj5
Jazmine Headley was arrested after the incident. She was charged with resisting arrest, committing an act in a manner injurious to a child, criminal trespass, and obstruction of governmental administration. She was taken to Rikers Island, and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.