A tug of war ensued between New York police officers and mother Jazmine Headley over her one-year-old son in a food stamp office. Police are inves
A tug of war ensued between New York police officers and mother Jazmine Headley over her one-year-old son in a food stamp office.
Police are investigating after a viral video has shown a group of New York officers violently pulling a one-year-old boy from his mother’s arms.
On Friday, police were called to a Brooklyn food stamp office after the mother, Jazmine Headley, refused to leave.
A witness said a security officer confronted the woman after she had sat on the floor of the crowded office for two hours due to a lack of chairs.
But she ended up lying face-up on the floor during a tug of war with the officers over the child.
“The baby was screaming for his life,” Nyashia Ferguson, who posted video on Facebook under the name Monae Sinclair, told The New York Times.
“The lady was begging for them to get off of her. I was scared.”
Footage of the incident shows officers encircling the woman and her child on the ground as a crowd of onlookers gather around and shout in dismay.
One officer appears to reach down and yank the child until Headley’s cries become louder.
“You’re hurting my son! You’re hurting my son!” she yells.
At one point, an officer pulls out a yellow stun gun and points it at people in the angry crowd.
Headley was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing.
She was still in jail on Monday morning because there was a warrant for her arrest in New Jersey, prosecutors said.
“We did not request any bail and Ms Headley’s hold is in connection with a warrant from New Jersey,” the Brooklyn prosecutor’s office said on Twitter.
“We are reaching out to authorities in that state to expedite her release.”
The New York Police Department (NYPD) and the New York City Human Resources Administration are now reviewing the 7 December arrest.
The NYPD, which described Friday’s confrontation as “troubling,” said security guards had “brought the woman to the floor” before officers arrested her as she resisted.
“This is unacceptable, appalling and heart breaking,” city council speaker Corey Johnson, a Democrat, said on Twitter.
“I’d like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this. It’s hard to watch this video.”
A court document said the toddler was just under 18 months old, and authorities said a family member was taking care of him.
“Being poor is not a crime,” said Democrat Letitia James, the city’s public advocate and the state’s attorney general-elect, in a statement. “No mother should have to experience the trauma and humiliation we all witnessed in this video.”