NYPD reviewing 'troubling' video of officers prying baby from mom's arms
"No mother should have to experience the trauma and humiliation we all witnessed in this video,” said New York State Attorney General-elect Letitia James.
The New York Police Department said a "troubling" video showing officers trying to pry a 1-year-old from his mother's arms at a Brooklyn social services office is under review.
"They're hurting my son! They're hurting my son," the woman, Jazmine Headley, is heard screaming in the video posted Friday on Facebook.
In it, Headley, with her back on the floor, struggles to hang on to her baby as several officers try to rip him away. The scene quickly escalated as bystanders surround the chaos and shout over each other.
"Oh my God! Look what they're doing to her," people yell on the video, which has been viewed more than 200,000 times.
At least one officer pulled out what appeared to be a stun gun, and pointed it toward the crowd before holding it inches from the Headley's face.
The NYPD said in a statement that the video was "troubling," and they were reviewing it along with any other video they could find from the incident.
The city's social services commissioner announced Monday that two peace officers from the Human Resources Administration were put on leave and will be placed on modified duty when they return to work pending the department's investigation, NBC station WNBC reported.
The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office was also launching an independent investigation "with the intention of reaching a swift decision," a spokesman for the office announced Monday.
Officers were called to the Human Resources Administration office in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn Friday after staff had made unsuccessful attempts to remove a Headley "due to her disorderly conduct towards others, and for obstructing the hallway," according to the statement.
"HRA peace officers brought the woman to the floor," and officers tried to arrest her, but she resisted, the NYPD said.
Headley, 23, now faces charges of resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration and criminal trespass.
A spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney said they did not request bail from Headley, and she is being held on a separate warrant in New Jersey.
The woman who posted the video to Facebook wrote that Headley sat on the floor of the office with her child because all of the seats were taken. A security guard who told her to get off the floor eventually ended up calling police, the woman wrote.
"This Was The Outcome ... Mind You She Had Her Baby In Her Hands The Whole Time," the woman said.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called for the charges against Headley to be dropped.
“The mother didn’t endanger the welfare of the child. The actions of the department endangered the welfare of the child,” Adams, a retired NYPD captain, said Monday at a press conference near the Human Resources Administration office.
"It’s hard to watch this video," City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a tweet. "This is unacceptable, appalling and heart breaking. I’d like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this."
Public Advocate and Attorney General-elect Letitia James also called for an investigation and said that involved officers should be assigned desk duty during the probe.
“Being poor is not a crime. The actions of the NYPD in this video are appalling and contemptible," James said. "No mother should have to experience the trauma and humiliation we all witnessed in this video.”
Police said the woman denied medical treatment for herself and the child, who was placed in the care of a family member after the incident.