Folks across the nation stepped up in a big way to help Jazmine Headley, the Brooklyn mother who had her child ripped from her arms by police during her shocking arrest at a benefits office last week.
A GoFundMe campaign launched by Brooklyn Defender Services, the organization assisting Headley, has raised over $35,000 in donations in a matter of days, exceeding its initial $25,000 goal. The money will be used to help Headley, 23, cover her son’s childcare and other expenses, “allowing her to get back to the job and life that’s waiting for her”, the campaign reads.
A judge on Tuesday ordered Headley’s release from jail at Rikers Island, where she spent five days following her arrest Sunday. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez moved to dismiss the charges against her and said he was “horrified” by the violence depicted in the viral video of Headley’s arrest.
“It’s clear to me that this incident should have been handled differently,” Gonzalez said Monday. “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.”
Videos from the incident showed officers at a Human Resources Administration office in Brooklyn wrestling Headley’s 1-year-old son, Damon, from her arms. Witnesses say she was seated on the floor at the time, as there were no more chairs available in the packed office that day. The cops were called when Headley was asked to get up and refused.
“They’re hurting my son! They’re hurting my son!” she screamed while holding on tightly to the little boy.
As reported by ESSENCE, Headley appeared in court Wednesday for a warrant stemming from an unrelated credit card case in New Jersey. The charges in that incident were also dismissed, according to BDS policy director Scott Hechinger.
Meanwhile, the “peace” officers involved in Sunday’s arrest have since been placed on modified duty pending an investigation. Department of Social Services commissioner Steve Banks said he was “deeply troubled” by the incident and said it’s now under review.