A New York woman arrested after her tot son was reportedly pried from her arms Friday inside a Brooklyn human resources building, spoke out Sunday about the fear she faced during the altercation and why she didn’t leave after authorities surrounded her.
“In my head, I told myself they’re not going to let me leave,” 23-year-old Jazmine Headley said in an exclusive interview with The New York Times.
They Grabbed Her Baby and Arrested Her. Now Jazmine Headley Is Speaking Out. https://t.co/u9D409SGKg
— Aleksey (@thisisaleksey) December 17, 2018
As CrimeOnline previously reported, chaos erupted Friday morning when a New York police officer arrested Headley at the Human Resources Administration building, located on Bergen Street. She was applying for daycare vouchers for her child’s caretaker, so she could work at a cleaning job.
Headley said she couldn’t return to work unless she could leave her child at daycare, but the daycare owner told her that her payment had to be in before they would take care of the toddler.
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The news station reported the “city agency was slow and crowded,” with no seats left for Headley and her baby. The woman chose to take the only space available and sat with her son on the floor.
Security workers at the building allegedly told the woman to stand instead. A verbal dispute allegedly erupted between the security workers and Headley before police officers arrived to the scene.
Headley said a police officer at the center initially told her he didn’t intend to arrest her, but authorities said “one of the guards then grabbed the 23-year-old mother’s arm and they fell to the ground,” according to Fox News. When she tried to leave again, Headley said that’s when the incident escalated.
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.
“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 in the background yelled.
“There’s a f***ing baby in her hands!,” another witness proclaimed as an officer appeared to pull out a Taser.
Headley described being spoken to in an unacceptable manner.
“I just remember being talked to very viciously. It was more or less, ‘You’re going to do what I say, and that’s it.'”
Although she wished she would have just left, the mother said she wouldn’t have been able to get the care she needed for her son if she had simply walked away.
“I should’ve left, and I didn’t because if I would’ve left, my son would not have the things that he needs,” she stated.
She added that she isn’t alone in the matter, eluding that while her “story” made headlines, the incident wasn’t an isolated one.
“It’s the story of many other people, it’s not just my story. My story is the only one that made it to the surface.”
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[Feature Photo: Jazmine Headley/Facebook Screengrab]