Chaos broke out Friday morning when New York police officer arrested a mother collecting daycare vouchers at a human resource center so she could work—and apparently pried her 1-year-old baby boy from her arms.
According to ABC 7, the incident occurred while 23-year-old Jazmine Headley waited for the vouchers at Brooklyn’s Human Resources administration building, located on Bergen Street. The mother applied for the vouchers for her child’s caretaker, so Headley at a cleaning job.
The news station reported the “city agency was slow and crowded,” with no seats left for Headley and her baby. The woman reportedly chose to take the only space available and sat along with her son on the floor.
Security workers at the building apparently told the woman to stand instead. A verbal dispute allegedly erupted between the security workers and Headly.
Nyasia Ferguson, a witness who recorded the incident, said the mother and son “were not blocking any doors or passageways.” A supervisor from the agency was called, and authorities were also subsequently asked to report to the scene.
“She called five other security guards. All harassing her, bothering her. Everyone…was like ‘leave the girl alone, she’s not bothering anyone, just sitting there like all day,’ they kept harassing her,” Ferguson said.
“I was just so disgusted and scared. I thought the cops supposed to help you – they just straight up came and attacked the lady,” she continued.
“You’re hurting my son, you’re hurting my son!,” Headley yelled to at least three officers who surrounded her.
Bystanders protested in the background, according to the video footage.
“Oh my God, oh my God, look what they’re doing to us, look what they’re doing to her,” a woman was heard yelling.
“There’s a f***ing baby in her hands!,” another witness was heard proclaiming as an official appeared to pull out a taser.
New York State General Attorney Elect, Tish James, tweeted about the alleged incident, and said “there must be a full investigation & results made public.”
Being poor is not a crime.
The actions of the officers in this video are appalling & contemptible. There must be a full investigation & the results made public. No mother should have to experience the trauma & humiliation we all witnessed in this video.https://t.co/UU97MLJ5Pt
— Tish James (@TishJames) December 10, 2018
“Being poor is not a crime. The actions of the officers in this video are appalling & contemptible,” James wrote. “…No mother should have to experience the trauma & humiliation we all witnessed in this video.”
Headley’s mother, Jacqueline Jenkins, expressed outrage regarding the reported incident to ABC 7.
“I was devastated to see something like that happen to my daughter and grandson. And how this officer yanking on my grandson to get him out of my daughter’s arms,” she said.
The New York Times reports that Headley is currently facing a slew of charges, including obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, child harm, and trespassing.
Responding police officers indicated they reported to the scene for a “harassment” incident. When they arrived, Headley reportedly refused to leave after they asked her “several times.” They stated security guards “brought her to he floor” after she initially refused to stand up and later, refused to leave.
Headley reportedly hasn’t seen her son and didn’t perform her job or collect daycare vouchers due to her arrest. She was still behind bars at the time of reporting, pending a court date scheduled for Thursday.
Headley’s son is currently in the care of his grandmother.
Lisa Schreibersdorf, Executive Director of Brooklyn Defender Services, issues the following statement regarding the violent mistreatment of our client Jazmine Headley at a SNAP office in Brooklyn: pic.twitter.com/JYLDQojFvF
— Brooklyn Defender Services (@BklynDefender) December 10, 2018
This is a developing story. Check back with CrimeOnline for the latest updates.
[Feature Photo: Jazmine Headley, Facebook/Screengrab]