A Brooklyn student had an unexpected encounter with law enforcement after being wrongfully detained for up to 7 hours. Lelani Pacific-Jack, a 15-year-old Midwood high school student, got permission from her mother to leave school early on March 20 after experiencing painful menstrual cramps. Lelani was just a few feet from the high school when she was approached by two officers requesting her ID. The student’s mother, Danielle Pacific, who overheard some of the commotion while on the phone with her daughter told NY Daily News, “There was no reason for them to hold my daughter for six hours and 45 minutes handcuffed to a pole.” She added, “They cannot get away with this, it’s unacceptable behavior.”
While on the phone with her daughter, Danielle hears her daughter yell, “Get off of me!Let go of my phone! Get off my phone! Mommy!” The concerned mother tried in vain to alert the officers that her daughter had her permission to leave school. Instead, officers maintain that Lelani was outside with several other students who were cutting school. An NYPD spokesperson said they confirmed with the school that Lelani did not receive permission to leave school grounds. The teenager was charged with “resisting arrest, obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct after screaming, swearing and swinging at the office,” a police source told Daily News. She was handcuffed to a precinct police pole for nearly 7 hours.
Danielle contacted the National Action Network (NAN) in hopes of bringing more exposure to the incident. Rev. Kirsten Foy of NAN said, “No law enforcement personal has the right to abuse our children.” A demonstration was planned for Thursday outside the Brooklyn precinct.