NYPD officers filmed yanking 23-year-old Jazmine Headley‘s son from her arms during her arrest at a Brooklyn benefits office this month did nothing wrong and likely won’t face disciplinary action, a review by the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau determined.
“The NYPD conducted a strenuous review of what happened because the public deserves answers, and we must take every opportunity to continuously strengthen how the NYPD serves the people of New York City,” N.Y. Police Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement.
“This review shows that prior to the incident depicted on public video, NYPD officers are working with the client to de-escalate the situation,” he added.
One of the officers was reportedly bitten during the scuffle.
Videos from the Dec. 7 incident shows NYPD officers trying to wrest Headley’s 1-year-old son, Damon, from her arms as she struggles on the floor of a crowded Human Resources Administration office in Brooklyn. Witnesses said the young mom was seated on the floor at the time, as there were no more available chairs in the office that day.
A security officer dialed police when Headley was asked to get up but refused. At one point, one of the uniformed officers pulls out a stun gun and waves it indiscriminately the faces of shocked bystanders.
“They’re hurting my son! They’re hurting my son!” Headley screamed while holding tightly to her little boy as officers tugged him from the other end.
The officers involved were briefly placed on modified duty pending the outcome of an investigation
According to POLITICO, the NYPD’s internal review of the incident was based on publicly available video and 911 calls, as well as police body camera footage and interviews with Headley and her mother.
Going forward, the police agency has recommended key changes to its policy, including, “establishing guidelines for interactions between NYPD and HRA officers, summoning an NYPD supervisor when police respond to calls at HRA facilities and reviewing tactics and training programs for situations in which officers encounter someone holding a young child,” the news site reported.
Headley was jailed at Rikers Island on an unrelated charge for five days following her viral arrest but was released and has since been reunited with her young son. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez also dropped the charges against her, which included obstructing governmental administration, trespassing and resisting arrest.
Recalling the frightening incident, Headley said she immediately went into “defense mode.”
“In my head, I told myself they’re not going to let me leave,” she told The New York Times. “I was so afraid. I was combative with my thoughts.”
The young mother said she remembered being talked to “very viciously,” adding, “It was more or less: ‘You’re going to do what I say, and that’s it.'”
Headley said she tried to pick up her son and leave after one of the officers said he did not want to arrest her. That’s when a security guard grabbed her by the arm, causing all three of them to fall to the ground, the New York Times reported. Headley made one last attempt to leave the office but an officer told her it was “too late.”
Gregory Floyd, president of the guards union, said security tried reasoning with the young woman for 40 minutes before NYPD officers arrived.
“I should’ve left, and I didn’t because if I would’ve left, my son would not have the things that he needs,” Headley said.