Jazmine Headley, 23, is facing a slew of charges, but Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is calling for those charges to be dropped. The New York Police Department is calling the video "troubling," while Headley's outraged family is demanding justice.
It was pandemonium inside the Human Resources Administration building on Bergen Street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Police and HRA security officers apparently tried to take the 1-year-old boy from Headley so they could arrest her.
"I was devastated to see something like that happen to my daughter and grandson, and how this officer yanking on my grandson to get him out of my daughter's arms," Headley's mother, Jacqueline Jenkins, said.
She added that Headley is now in jail and is barred from seeing her son, Damone. According to Jenkins, Headley had gone to the HRA building on Friday morning to ask for day care vouchers for her baby so she could work as a cleaner.
ABC sister station WABC-TV was told the city agency was slow and crowded, so there were no chairs available, and Headley sat on the floor with her son to wait her turn.
Nyasia Ferguson took the video and confirms that both Headley and her son were not blocking any doors or passageways. When security guards ordered Headley to stand, WABC-TV is told the mother refused because there were no seats and she had her baby. A supervisor was called - and then police.
"She called five other security guards, all harassing her, bothering her," Ferguson said. "Everyone...was like, 'leave the girl alone, she's not bothering anyone, just sitting there like all day.' They kept harassing her."
She was unable to work or get the child care voucher. Advocates argue her crime was not resisting arrest or trespassing or harming her own child, but simply seeking help from an agency that then had her arrested.
"I was just so disgusted and scared," Ferguson said. "I thought the cops (are) supposed to help you. They just straight up came and attacked the lady."
Headley was set behind bars until her court hearing on Thursday, but the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said Monday it is not seeking bail in the case. However, authorities say she has an outstanding warrant in Mercer County, New Jersey, and that they will attempt to expedite her release to authorities there or ask them to rescind their warrant.
"Our office is conducting an independent investigation into this troubling case, and we are in the process of reviewing all available videos and interviewing witnesses with the intention of reaching a swift decision," a spokesperson said. "We did not request any bail, and Ms. Headley's hold is in connection with a warrant from New Jersey. We are reaching out to authorities in that state to expedite her release."
Many have expressed outrage after seeing the video, but so far, there is no response from the mayor's office.
Headley was charged with resisting arrest, obstruction, trespassing and acting in a manner injurious to a child.