Statement on Violent Arrest, Separation of Young Mother From One-year Old Child at Brooklyn HRA Center

The Legal Aid Society released the following statement responding to the violent arrest of 23-year-old Jazmine Headley, a mother of a one-year-old boy, who was forcibly separated from her son and was arrested after a verbal dispute with a security guard at the Fort Greene Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Brooklyn:

“The horrific treatment Ms. Headley and her one-year-old child suffered at the hands of the NYPD and others last week truly shocks the conscience. We hear horror stories from our clients on a regular basis about their negative experiences with these bureaucratic offices and staff – agencies and people who are ostensibly supposed to show compassion and help New Yorkers with their struggles.

While we are horrified that these officers acted so quickly, we are not surprised given the NYPD’s continued failure to engage with communities in any meaningful way. Ripping a one-year-old child from a mother’s arms is a heartless ICE tactic employed at the border that we all have denounced.

We call for:

  • an immediate investigation into the involved officers’ conduct;
  • an end to long delays in HRA offices where people seek relief;
  • the dismissal of all charges against Ms. Headley.

New York City must be better; and these immediate actions must be taken.”