New York City taxpayers have to pay dearly for the bad judgment of officers who ripped a baby from a woman’s arms during a visit to a human resources office last December.
The New York Daily News reported that Jazmine Headley is $625,000 richer after a traumatic confrontation with Human Resources Administration peace officers and NYPD cops went viral last year and she sued the city for the awful ordeal and its ongoing consequences.
Headley’s one-year-old son was ripped from her arms at a Brooklyn benefits office and she spent two days at Rikers Island on charges of obstruction, resisting arrest, endangered the welfare of a child, and trespassing—all because, as her lawyer stated, she dared to sit on the floor near the baby’s stroller because she was too tired after waiting three hours to see a caseworker.
“They’re hurting my son!” she can be heard crying as she struggles to hold onto the boy while the officers try to arrest her. “They’re hurting my son!”
Last year, Brooklyn Defender Services organized a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Headley, raising more $37,000 of its $25,000 goal.
“Ms. Headley had been humiliated, assaulted, physically injured, threatened with a taser, brutally separated from her son, handcuffed, arrested, and jailed,” court documents read.
“What unleashed this torrent of violence and abuse against a young mother and her son?”
The baby boy “displayed changed behaviors after the events, including a diminished appetite, separation anxiety, and difficulty sleeping, and he became more withdrawn,” the suit claimed.
The heinous incident prompted apologies from former presidential hopeful and the city’s mayor and other prominent officials.
“Ms. Headley came to the city seeking help, and we failed to treat her with the dignity and respect she deserved. While this injustice should have never happened, it forced a reckoning with how we treat our most vulnerable and prompted us to make reforms at HRA Centers across the city. We hope this settlement brings Ms. Headley and her family a degree of closure,” Mayor de Blasio’s spokesperson Olivia Lapeyrolerie told the newspaper.
Headley sued the city in August.
On Friday, the de Blasio administration said that it would pay $625,000 to settle the suit.
According to The New York Times, her public benefits, which had been stripped, were restored.
Her incident has caused a massive change at the city’s Department of Social Services, including de-escalation training and a plan for every peace officer to have body cameras by the end of the year.
Her attorney, Katie Rosenfeld, said the young mother’s courage in speaking up created “an opportunity for change for the entire city.”