Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that Jazmine Headley, age 23, would not face charges related to her Friday arrest, and called for her immediate release. Justice Craig S. Walker of the State Supreme Court ordered her release.
Headley was arrested after the NYPD ripped her infant son from her arms on Friday in Brooklyn’s social service building, where she was waiting more than four hours to find out why her childcare benefits had been turned off. The security guard confronted her for sitting on the floor with her son as opposed to standing for a long period of time.
Jeremy Shockett, deputy chief of the trial division, said his office did not object to Headley’s release, but stated separate unresolved legal issues.
Headley was being held at Rikers Island for the past five days on an unrelated misdemeanor warrant since Friday.
She was reunited with her son Tuesday evening. “I’m just happy to be free,” she told reporters. ” I just need to see my boy.”
“The consequences this young and desperate mother has already suffered as a result of this arrest far outweigh any conduct that may have led to it: she and her baby have been traumatized, she was jailed on an unrelated warrant and may face additional collateral consequences,” Gonzalez said, in a statement.
Scott Hechinger, an attorney with the Brooklyn Defender Services, tweeted that Headley’s one-year-old son, Damone, was on his way to the hospital with “lingering bruising.”
Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks released a statement saying that two HRA peace officers had been placed on modified duty and that they need better training to de-escalate before calling the police.
No details released on the investigation of the police officers’ conduct yet. Headley’s family want them fired and is considering a lawsuit against the city.
“This never should’ve happened,” said her mother, Jacquelin Jenkins. “Devastating, just devastating. The images continue in your head.”
Protesters that held a rally outside City Hall on Tuesday also criticized NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio for remaining silent on the conduct of officers.
“He should be at the forefront of this situation and he should act as swiftly as if that were Chirlane McCray on the ground and Dante had been grabbed from her arms,” said Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.
The mayor only tweeted that he had a lot of questions and encouraged the reunification:
This morning my office spoke to the Brooklyn DA about dropping the charges against Ms. Headley. I applaud the DA’s decision to do so. She should be reunited with her child as soon as possible.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 11, 2018
The public defenders have also set up a GoFundMe for Headley, for childcare when she returns to work. The campaign has raised over $29,000 in less than 24 hours.
Reader Question: Do you think the police officers will be disciplined or charged