A mother jailed after police violently took her toddler son from her arms in a videotaped encounter in a packed waiting room of a New York City social services office was freed on Tuesday night.
Jazmine Headley said following her release from the Rikers Island jail facility “I’m just so grateful to everyone and I’m just happy to be free and I just need to see my boy,” .
A judge had ordered her free just hours after Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez stated that “in the interest of justice” he was letting go all charges against Jazmine Headley in Friday’s incident.
Headley, who was held on warrant in an unconnected credit card fraud case in New Jersey, is due to come to court on Wednesday in that matter.
Headley and two other people are blamed of making or using a dozen credit cards printed with numbers and names that didn’t match their magnetic strips and having a driver’s license that didn’t belong to them.
In dropping the Brooklyn charges, Gonzalez said he was “horrified by the violence depicted in the video,” which displayed officers pulling Headley’s 18-month-old son from her arms. He note the situation should have been addressed differently.
Gonzalez said in a statement “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, she was jailed on an unrelated warrant and may face additional collateral consequences,”.
He explained that persisting to follow the charges , hindering governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing , “will not serve any purpose and I therefore moved today to dismiss it immediately in the interest of justice.”
The video, which was posted to social media by an onlooker, caused a rage, stirring outrage from those who say it’s a sign of how social service recipients are treated. It showed Headley ending up lying face-up on the floor, and a police officer at another point pulling her stun gun out and pointing it at the furious crowd.
Officials told that the situation is being examined by the New York Police Department and the Department of Social Services. Two city employees have been placed on modified duty in relation to the incident.