Cops rip baby from mother’s hands at Brooklyn SNAP office
A young Brooklyn mother, whose infant was ripped from her arms by Brooklyn police officers after she refused to leave a government office, will have to face a New Jersey judge for outstanding charges before possibly seeing her baby again.
On Friday, Jazmine Headley waited over four hours to see an administrator at the Fort Greene Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on Bergen Street to find out why her 1-year-old son’s daycare funding was suspended.
Law enforcement officials told the Eagle that Headley was advised that she was not going to see a social worker that day, but she waited instead, having already taken a day off of work. At some point, Headley could not find a seat in the crowded Boerum Hill office and sat on the floor.
Moments that lead up to another client recording Headley’s encounter with the building’s security guards and the NYPD were not captured. When the camera started rolling, Headley is seen on the tiled floor trying to prevent the officers from taking her baby from her arms.
The officers were attempting to arrest her for obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing charges. One officer is seen pulling out a Taser as Headley screams, “My baby, my baby, you’re hurting my baby.”
The video was posted on Facebook, which outraged members of the public and elected officials. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, among the outraged, held a press conference yesterday calling for Brooklyn prosecutors to drop the charges and reunite Headley with her child.
However, Headley will be held on Rikers Island until Mercer County prosecutors extradite her across the river to New Jersey to face an outstanding warrant. A spokesman from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said they did not request bail for Headley’s arrest on Friday.
“We are reaching out to authorities in that state to expedite her release,” said the spokesman. As of press time yesterday, Headley was still housed in the Rose M. Singer Center, according to court records.
“Clearly our police department, one of the best trained in the country, should be able to de-escalate a situation when the baby and the mother, without duplicating [President] Trump’s security border removal of children,” Adams said. “To watch the images of a child being yanked from their parent is something that is not reflective of a city that is a sanctuary city and a city that spoke volumes about what was going on with children on our southern border. We must do better; we are better.”
Adams also criticized the security agency that was in charge of the HRA facility as having “poor skills in de-escalation” and “exacerbate the situation” when calling the police.
“The mother didn’t endanger the child, the actions of the department did,” Adams said.
Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of the Brooklyn Defender Services and the lawyer representing Headley said the incident was “an appalling situation.”
“She was asked to move multiple times and there was no place to go. Security decided to call 911, and that was the worst option that they could’ve used,” said Schreibersdorf. “When people come to this office, they come because they are in crisis — they have a situation that is life and death for them and there are social workers here and they are well equipped to handle it when things are difficult even offering a folding chair or giving them someone to talk to. It didn’t happen.”
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