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‘I’m Not Going to Let Them See Me Cry’: Two Black Mothers with Babies In Backseat Confronted By Secret Service Members with Guns Drawn Over False Claim of Stolen Vehicle

India Johnson and Yasmeen Winston, two Black women ages 26 and 25, took their babies to play at the fountains at the National Mall in the nation’s capital on the afternoon of July 30. Johnson parked the Ford Focus on Constitution Avenue, mere blocks from the White House, and the women sat in the vehicle, babies on the back seat, while preparing to make the trek to the Mall.

The women were startled by a crash and looked up to see that a secret service vehicle had driven into the front bumper of their car on the driver’s side.

Secret Service uniformed officers surrounding the car of two young mothers out for a play day in a fountain with their babies. (Photo: Yasmeen Winston)

“Get out! Put your hands in the air!” a uniformed secret service officer said while climbing out of the vehicle, gun drawn. Johnson and Winston were surrounded by more officers, who also approached with their guns in the air. Johnson exited the vehicle to ask what was going on, and Winston stayed in the passenger seat with her hands pressed against the roof of the car, while she says the officer placed a rifle against her head. She begged the officer not to shoot her son.

The mothers were handcuffed and separated from their babies. The women say the officers claimed the vehicle had been stolen by two Black men, although no men were present with the women, and Johnson provided proof that she was the owner of the car. The babies, boys 6 and 13 months old, were left in the back seat of the car for 45 minutes as the women were questioned. The mothers worried the children might overheat as the car doors were left open on the summer day.

Fountains at the World War II Memorial

The women were later released but have still not received an explanation for why they were detained. A bystander told Johnson the vehicle was searched without her consent as the women spoke to the paramedics that had been called to check on the children.

“I could have been another Breonna Taylor,” Winston told The Washington Post. “I could have been another innocent woman who has no record and got shot.”

She asked the officers for their business cards, but they claimed they did not carry any. Instead, she wrote down each officer’s name and badge number on a piece of paper.

“I had to stay strong, somebody had to be strong. I wanted to cry, but I’m not going to let them see me cry,” she said.

The womens’ attorney, Timothy Maloney, wrote a letter to the Secret Service demanding an investigation and requesting answers to more than a dozen questions.

The Secret Service said it was notified by D.C. police that there was a vehicle in close proximity to the White House that been associated with a crime. The agency said that, according to information it had received, someone who had driven the vehicle in the past was wanted for multiple felonies and characterized as “armed and dangerous.”

Both women have faced trauma and paranoia since the incident occurred. Winston is seeking therapy.

What people are saying

71 thoughts on “‘I’m Not Going to Let Them See Me Cry’: Two Black Mothers with Babies In Backseat Confronted By Secret Service Members with Guns Drawn Over False Claim of Stolen Vehicle

  1. Rohno Geppert says:

    Disgustingly UNAMERICAN and incompetent!

  2. Armanda Coles says:

    They need to carry cards they need to treat people as human a 6 month old child in a hot car a 9 month old baby left in a car by the secret service because two Black women looks like 2 Black men on a hot day then searched their car disturbed the children with no regard to the virus 🦠 each child needs to be in the lawsuit also. How sick how indecent and callous way to treat people simply because they are Black.

  3. Ruth Lucas says:

    Bullshit..when is enough going to b enough..when is this going to stop..all those “secret service men” should lose their jobs..nd they should she the fuq out them

  4. Melissa Gray says:

    Wth is going on! Is this the new norm? Sexond time i heard about this…Come on! Women and children! Bastard!

  5. J.Francis says:

    This is the”new” America..where the Secret Service has now become Nazi’s!!!

  6. Shondra says:

    They are mad at God maybe because they innately know that we are the chosen ones.

  7. D Harvey says:

    Someone is giving a BIGGLY EXCUSE for a serious screw-up….The Secret Service police ram their vehicle on so little info…..Come on man, it gotta be more info than ” A vehicle in close proximity of the White House associated with a crime” was there no license plate given, clearly those clowns can distinguish a male from a female ( or can they)…. I know they say all black folk look alike – but damn!

  8. Isaac Driskell says:

    I lived this through the sixties. My only regret is that
    I didn’t choose a more aggressive confrontational approach. It is important to confront those who are against you in a language they understand.

  9. Carl Hewitt says:

    File a lawsuit against the Nazis with badges. America has officially become a kill zone for blacks.

  10. Linda says:

    This country USA is the most corrupt Government in the entire world. We must overhaul the whole damn system!

  11. Barbie says:

    This is a disgusting and (unfortunately) common occurrence. I hope they’re as incompetent at guarding Trump as they are at distinguishing the difference between men and women.

  12. S Trimble says:

    First of all I’ve never heard of secret service driving marked police vehicles-in fact I know they don’t because I know a SS agent-so I’m calling this story more BS fabricated by leftist liberal liars that want to continue to misinform the general public and create hate and paramours against the police in general! I will continue to support the blue, stand for a free republic that America used to be and for my constitutional rights

  13. Mike says:

    Just doing their jobs people at least they aren’t burning shit down!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I don’t they have the ability to conduct themselves any other way. They believe that the badge makes them who they are. It’s sad when a badge makes you think you treat people in a hostile way. LEARN THIS YOUR JOB IS NOT WHO YOU ARE ITS WHAT YOU DO TO EARN A LIVING

  15. Katy Henson says:

    I’m so sickened by this and so many other things that are going on in our country. I’m a 62 year old white woman that grew up in a black neighborhood so I can tell you for sure that this crap is nothing new. I started school with segregation but my school was 90 percent black so maybe I have some insight into how badly i saw even black children treated, it was wrong then and it’s wrong now. You jerks abusing people because of the color of their skin may not answer to justice now but you will have to face your maker ( the same God that created black, white,brown) one day you will stand before him and give an account for you words and actions. If either of those 2 women would have left their children in a car in the heat, they would have gone to jail, but because it was someone with a badge. Nothing will happen. I know their are good and bad in every race, in every profession but they have got to stop this crap, you people are sworn to serve and protect EVERYONE. May God protect you all. Please see the person first. Use your God given compassion to interact with everyone, come on earn your respect back. We need good law enforcement. Not this.😪

  16. DOC says:

    YOU REFUSE TO ADMIT THAT THE REAL PROGRAM OF THE “STATE TERRORISTS”, IS SPREAD TERROR AND FEAR IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY❗❗ THIS IS HAPPENING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY❗❗❓❓ WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT❓❓❗❗ THE “MO” IS THE SAME, “SOMEONE” CALLS THE “STATE TERRORIST” ABOUT SOMEONE BLACK DOING SMETHING “UNLAWFUL” AND THAT GIVES THE “STATE TERRORIST” THE RIGHT TO RAISE HELL IN YOUR LIFE❗❗❗ BASTARDS, COWARDS, TERRORIST AND YOUR TAX DOLLARS PAY FOR YOU TO BE BRUTALIZED, WAKE UP PEOPLE AND STOP CALLING THEM “POLICEMEN”❗❗❗❗❗

  17. Tony says:

    Until they value black lives, all lives do not matter !

  18. Diane May says:

    God please bless America for she has lost her whole dang mind ! Over four hundred years and this country still hates us , if anything we should be hating them ! Stop this foolishness just stop 🛑

  19. G. H. says:

    All , so called law enforcement, are empowered starting by trump. From there it runs downhill with the feeling that all so called law enforcement is protected by their superiors all the way up to trump. That’s why everyone has to come out and let your voices herd in November
    .

  20. Peggy says:

    TELL the stories and keep TELLING the stories. God knows and God hears. He said vengeance is mine sauté the Lord who made heaven and earth. Now we TELL the world who needs to hear over and over again the injustices in our world!

  21. Luigi says:

    False actuations lead to Big Brother tactics of men in blue forcing ruff & unprofessional actions because they can & do get away with it, all because of miss info from whoever passed along
    Ok, then I should B allowed 2 call in & report men in blue R using their badges & guns hiding behind false info 4 their enjoyment 2 B tuff assholes

  22. Carol Freeland says:

    This is why people are so fed up with the type of policing we have. This is WRONG

  23. Anonymous says:

    It is ILLEGAL to be playing in the fountain. It IS NOT a free public pool that anyone can go to. Multiple signs are posted all around the memorial advising people of that fact. The Secret Service Officers were doing their job as they are supposed to.

  24. This entire situation is tragic as is but also so disgustingly un-American!! Our Country is in Chaos concurrently with the Pandemic. Our President says “It is what it is”!!! But this is not about him this is about humanity and human rights! I’m a Black woman who doesn’t necessarily see every issue as racial but at some point the need to deal with the core/root issues of minority racial injustices will worsen before it gets better!! This really frightens me! Black men were previously more the target of such hate but it has been taken to another level against women and children!! LORD help us to find peace and righteousness before this becomes an all out war of races! Some have equated this with the Antichrist but I believe there still a chance to live in Harmony and peace with ourselves and others if we can learn to love our neighbors as ourselves after learning to love and believe in THE LORD JESUS with all that’s within our hearts and minds! I’m calling prayerfully on the mercy of GOD for true deliverance from these inhumane life issues and stressors! 🙏🏽

  25. Franklin ray says:

    They were black! What more is needed for white cops to stop 🛑 shoot, murder people of color?

  26. 1BLESSEDGIRL says:

    THE THING WE ARE FAILING TO REALIZE IS BLK PPL HAVE HAD A FALSE SENCE OF EQUALITY TO A DAGREE. WE ARE NOT HAVE NOT AND WILL NOT BE FREE UNTIL WE REALIZE WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE NEED TO REALLY WAKE UO AND MOVE AS A UNIT TOWARDS ONENESS!! TOGETHER WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL BY THE SNARES OF THE ENEMY…

  27. Anonymous says:

    Donald Trump treat the Secret Service like shit, I wondering if they are the ones who cleans the toilets too.
    When all of us Blacks stand together and fight back they will stop.

  28. Ron says:

    You need to get your facts straight. First, the officer were Capitol Police, not Secret Service. As much as you tried, you couldn’t get away with the insinuation that the women were approached because they were black. They were in a vehicle that had been reported as being used in a felony crime, so the encounter was their fault, not the police. They should hang out with better friends! Women can commit terrorist acts as well as men and those that do care nothing about how it will effect their children, so the attempt to garner sympathy by mentioning their children is just bad journalism. I’ve read a few of your stories and they all have one thing in common; the attempt to cry racism because the presumed victim was black, but you never reveal the so-called victims criminal history. You’re a sad publication!

  29. Dick says:

    Yeah poor them ..It happens to innocent people all the time . Why all the outrage for them ?

  30. Morgan Duncan says:

    What I want to know is why Treasury Department officials were investigating civic crimes at all? A stolen car should have been handled by the MPD. Why were they involved, and if the vehicle in question wasn’t involved in active flight from a valid order to stop, why did the SS feel the need to begin the encounter with a collision?

  31. Tarsha Johnson says:

    This Is Absolutely Appalling. They Keep Treating Us Like Where Nothing. It’s So Sad

  32. Anonymous says:

    True dat!!!

  33. Anonymous says:

    What in the World coming too. THE END

  34. Jan says:

    Hope THEY sue everyone involved

  35. Mare says:

    All this over a POSSIBLE stolen car??? Are you kidding me? I will intercede for all involved but especially for the moms. This is sooo over the top, I can’t wrap my mind around it!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Did they think two Black men were gonna jump out from under the hold and open fire? This is just a casual game for the officers.

  37. Anonymous says:

    The color of there skin had nothing to do with the information the officers received and from the sounds of it they handled the situation based on the information they had accordingly

  38. Ricky sherman says:

    She wasn’t asked if she knew who the someone was. Or if she let anyone who was wanted for multiple felonies drive her her car.

  39. Anonymous says:

    When it comes to the allegation that Police Officrrs are systematically hunting and killing black people in America, I’m on the side of Law Enforcement. But Police need to do a better job. “A MUCH MUCH BETTER JOB!!!” Approaching a call prepared for anything as a precaution is understandable,.. but as things pan out, and you clearly see that your information/Intel is wrong, y u need to scale ba k and you need to be more sympathetic and empathetic and sincerely apologize. It doesn’t hurt, and it’s not going to deminish the reputation of the Police, or anyone’s manhood. Just because in one’s authority, your not required to be compassionate, doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t be.

  40. Eva Giovando says:

    Why? No wonder the people of this race fear law enforcement, who wouldn’t. They should have known immediately that these two women were not men. They should have seen the babies. What Callous, hard hearted men/women. They should have, could have checked on the children and known within minutes this was not the correct car. The leader person should be fired and all should be written up. I will state I am a conservative and unless story is false and they are lying (which is possible) I’m disgusted by this. But will be looking for more clarification and/or apology to them.

  41. Carolyn Austin says:

    How is it in a country that our fore parents were forced to come to, that black people are still the only culture of ppl dat are treated like this, and the more we call for justice the more unjust we are treated. Until we start retaliating against society

  42. C. Lewis says:

    These so called cops and their so called investigations are getting dumber and dumber by the day. How is it you have supposed to be grwin trained people in law enforcement but they can’t see well let alone differentiate difference. This is beyond sad, this is just downright careless and Stupidity, but I guess that’s what Law enforcement is looking for. I’m glad my mom talked me out of being an officer.

  43. Mark says:

    Hope she wins the law suit. how come state nd local law enforcement in plain clothes carry business card
    With there name dept
    Phone number and email address ?
    Why don’t secert service don’t?
    FBI carry business. Cards.
    I bet they had them but they did not want give her any

  44. Dianne says:

    “It looked like a stolen car”. What a dumb a$$ excuse that could be used for anyone to be pulled over. I can’t even fathom the terror these two women faced. Planning a sweet play date and having fun turned to horror because? THEY WERE BLACK. That is the reason they were stopped. I sure as hell hope secret service plans to pay for the damage to her car, or provide her with a new one. I also hope they are prepared to pay their ongoing medical bills for therapy.

    To the ladies, it probably doesn’t mean much, but I’m sorry this happened.

  45. Rolando mota del cerro says:

    It makes my blood boil to see this happen over and over and then they just say we are sorry for the confusion

  46. Bridgette Arevalo says:

    This is unacceptable! They can’t let this be another incident brushed under the rug. They put a gun to her head! They left babies in a hot car , lord knows what kind of trauma these babies experienced. Accountability! Who were these Secret Service? We demand more information.

  47. Marshall Abraham says:

    I guess we will have to repeat the Cherokee
    Death March to the Chambers and killing fields
    I think the World will have to intervene
    Crimes against Humanity will eventually be addressed

  48. Bianca says:

    The “secret service” should pay for the therapy, fuel, and paramedics costs. They should go to jail at least for leaving the babies in the car without the windows down. Despicable treatment from beginning to end. NO excuse for this asinine behavior!!! Totally Godless. Leave the country for a safer place. It’ll only happen again.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Nah. This is the Secret Service, NOT a 7-11 in Florida. The Secret Service is not randomly approaching people out of racism.

  50. Patricia Thompson says:

    Fear, intimidation, armed force without accountability to the PUBLIC and deadly distraction are tactics we’d expect from despots, we saw in apartheid governing, and as grown in America as the dollar grows in sovereignty over the land. Non-believers and ‘practitioners only’ in JESUS will not be outraged by this because they think they are being protected from the undesirables. It is still ONE NATION UNDER GOD, repent and demand humane law and order.

  51. Elmer Canady says:

    Outrageous!!!
    What has happened to common sense?
    This should never have happened

  52. Anonymous says:

    Wow I’m sure that’s was terrifying because just one hair trigger and that’s it you can’t get a life back after it’s gone so please don’t be so quick to draw your guns‼️😡

  53. Anonymous says:

    Why are secret service doing auto theft?

  54. Anonymous says:

    They would do this is the person was white black green yellow, it doesn’t make a difference they thought the car was stolen. Come on people GROW UP

  55. Anonymous says:

    God, what do we do as African Americans, this is very pitiful, no regard for the women or children, and they had the wrong vehicle. Whoever called that in needs to be fired along with the secret Service, bastards, I’m grateful they are OK. Karma is a real bitch.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Demons

  57. Anonymous says:

    God is on the way whitemen

  58. Tj says:

    This is ridiculous Trump has turned our country from a democracy to a Police State where we have no rights

  59. Yusef says:

    Biggest load of BS someone who drove in the past had warrants they’ll just say anything and they get away with it F/@;ing disgusting!

  60. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what would have happened if they didn’t have their kids in the car. SS getting really bad in the streets and the police too. These white boys feel like their your daddy chestizing black people. Their waking up in the morning and saying, I think I’ll kill me a black person today. I think I’ll beat me a black person today. You black cops and SS you should think, they don’t love you either.

  61. Anonymous says:

    😡smh this has to stop

  62. Sabrina says:

    Another episode of being Black in America

  63. David R Shelton says:

    The secret service were only doing their jobs so everybody needs to cool it. They had received bad info. As LEOS they have to answer every complaint. When they found the women and no armed men they had figure what happened.SO PLEASE EVERYONE JUST COOL IT

  64. Shirley Beck says:

    They could have run the license plate to find out they had the wrong car. They were parked, so why was it necessary for them to ram their car? They left the children in the car for 45 minutes while their mothers were held at gunpoint. If this is what the SS has become it’s another blemish on America. I wonder how they would feel if it was their mother or sister held at gunpoint by a black officer…ijs

  65. Anonymous says:

    Cool it hell.

  66. Mikki says:

    The chosen ones my azz!!😂😂😂😂😂😂

  67. Anonymous says:

    1. I do believe it says to not go into the pools around the memorial!! It is not a place to play!! As always you bring attention to yourselves. Don’t break the laws, rules and regulations!! #PERIOD You are supposed to show respect, to the soldiers and monuments. But we understand you don’t really know how to do that!!

  68. Janice Ataiyero says:

    I agree with “Doc” Reply 16! This recurring explanation of “somebody somewhere” with an innocent Black person’s physical or vehicle description being sought by the “Gestapo” for a supposed crime is a DISGRACE!!!!

  69. Mother of 3DC says:

    To the dummies that say the store is BS because secret service don’t drive marked car, NEWS FLASH: They have some that DO. They are called the secret service police. They aren’t agents they are regular police. I live in DC we see them all of the time either riding around or standing downtown near the White House guarded government building.

  70. Anonymous says:

    BS plain and simple

  71. Anonymous says:

    Sue them ,And they wonder why black people are upset with officers, because they want to treat people like dirt.

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