The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council is planning a rally Tuesday afternoon at City Hall for Jazmine Headley, the woman seen in a now viral video lying on the floor as NYPD officers rip her 1-year-old child from her arms.
Headley, 23, was at a Boerum Hill Human Resources Administration center on Dec. 7 to renew her city benefits when police responded to a harassment complaint.
A “verbal dispute” with a security guard at the HRA center escalated, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams said in a statement. Police repeatedly told Headley to leave, according to NYPD, but she refused, and they then attempted to place her under arrest.
The video shows law enforcement personnel aggressively pulling Headley’s child from her arms as she lay on the ground.
“They’re hurting my son!” she screams, as someone in the background yells, “Look what they’re doing to her!”
The Progressive Caucus said in a statement that it is “outraged by the actions of the NYPD and HRA.”
“There is no excuse for the behavior of officers arresting Headley and prying her 1-year old son from her hands,” the statement continues. “It is also unacceptable that HRA and its peace officers chose to escalate the situation by calling on law enforcement to forcibly remove this mother, who was waiting for an appointment.”
Headley refused medical treatment for both herself and her 1-year-old, police said. A family member took custody of her child after she was taken into custody.
Jazmine Headley NYC Council Progressive Caucus rally: a call for change
Headley now faces four charges: resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration and criminal trespass, according to NYPD.
She is currently being held Rikers Island. Adams called for the NYPD to drop charges against Headley.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office said officials did not request any bail for Headley and that her hold at Rikers is in connection with a warrant from New Jersey. The DA’s office is conducting an “independent investigation into this troubling case.”
The story of Jazmine Headley sheds light on larger issues within the system, according to the New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus.
The Caucus made recommendations in a statement, calling for New York City to “significantly improve” the treatment of clients at HRA centers, requiring social workers on site, and must investigate the HRA peace officer program and how HRA officers use force.
Overcrowding and wait times are an issue at all city service centers, the caucus said. Headley was reportedly sitting on the ground to wait, which was an issue to security officers.
“Instead of closing down centers (HRA closed two SNAP centers in Brooklyn in September),” the statement reads, “the City needs to heavily invest in HRA centers to disseminate timely and effective services.”
The Progressive Caucus rally for Jazmine Headley is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. at City Hall Park.