Jazmine Headley has become an international news story after a video went viral of having her baby pulled from her at a government food stamp center in New York City. The video caused outrage, especially after she was arrested and sent to Rikers Island. Thankfully, Brooklyn Defender Services managed to get all charges dropped against her and now she is speaking out to The New York Times.
Headley explained the incident began because she needed paperwork due to her son’s day care threatening to kick him out because of lack of payments. “I should’ve left [the SNAP center], and I didn’t because if I would’ve left, my son would not have the things that he needs,” she said. “My main objective was to get there, handle business and get home. In my head, I told myself they’re not going to let me leave. I was so afraid. I was combative with my thoughts.”
From the start, she said the NYPD was rude, “It was more or less: ‘You’re going to do what I say, and that’s it.’ They never asked me my name. They never said, ‘Hello, who are you?’ They never asked me.”
Headley also stated that many people experience this type of disrespect at offices for social services, “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.”
See the original video below:
According to the New York Post, an internal review by the NYPD claims Headley was “disorderly,” “loud,” “irate” and used her baby as a “shield.” Headley reportedly got into a spat with the HRA (Human Resources Administration) officers “because she was sitting on the floor of the center with her 17-month-old son, Damone Buckman III, because there were no chairs available.”
The report accuses Headley of kicking and biting a police officer. According to the NYPD, an HRA officer stated, “The officers were careful while handling her not to harm the baby. The female client was the one putting him in a tight hold, grabbing his clothes and even wrapped her legs around his body so that he couldn’t be detached from her. The female officers grabbed her arm in order to cuff her but the female client kept pulling away to keep a grip on the bay. Additional NYPD officers were called to the scene. As soon as they arrived, the baby was released from the female client and she was arrested and escorted out of the facility.”
This statement contradicts HRA chief Steve Banks who apologized to Headley by saying, “On behalf of our agency and our dedicated front-line staff in all five boroughs, I apologize to Jazmine Headley and her one-year-old son and to the people of the City of New York for the actions that were taken that day.”
Hopefully, Jazmine Headley has an epic lawsuit on her hands.