A mother who had her 18-month-old child snatched from her by authorities is set to receive a $625,000 dollar settlement from New York City authorities.
In a shocking video, an onlooker captured the moment when 24-year-old Jazmine Headley had her son forcibly taken from her, which ultimately helped lead to the settlement.
According to reporting from the time, the incident flared up after Headley was unable to locate a seat at a benefits office in Brooklyn. Upon being approached by a security guard, Headley refused to stand up with her child, at which point the police were called.
Incredibly, Headley was actually charged for her role in the altercation with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing. However, these were dropped by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who said:
“Like everyone who watched the arrest of Jazmine Headley, I was horrified by the violence depicted in the video. It is clear to me that this incident should have been handled diffidently.”
In the aftermath, Headley testified before the city council, who took the decision to publically apologise and pass legislation aimed at preventing similar incidents from ever taking this. However, Headley felt that the reparations were insufficient, citing both physical injuries to her child and the fact that she was forever destined to be associated with “traumatic and violent experience” in her ultimately successful lawsuit.
Headley's lawyers said:
"This incident was not just about her, but about the dignity of every young woman of color raising her family with immense love and hard work, in a difficult world. We hope Ms. Headley's moral leadership inspires the City to make good on its promises of reform."