Police Internal Review: Mom In Viral Video Used Baby As Shield

December 15, 2018 - 12:50 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- A more complicated story is emerging from a witness video gone viral that shows a tug-of-war between a New York mother with a toddler and police yanking the boy from her.

Police said Friday that an internal review found Jazmine Headley used the child as a shield to avoid arrest on Dec. 7 at a Brooklyn social services office.

The review says the 23-year-old woman was verbally abusive and bit the arm of a city security employee who tried to remove her after she sat on the floor, took the child from his stroller and refused to budge.

The review says two NYPD officers were trying to calm the situation; they remain on active duty.

Witnesses told police the city employees first escalated the confrontation with the woman; they’re on modified duty.

Headley was released from Rikers Island this week after having all charges against her dropped.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that he had moved to dismiss the charges on Twitter.

"Continuing to pursue this case will not serve any purpose and I therefore moved today to dismiss it immediately in the interest of justice,” Gonzalez said in a statement. 

Gonzalez added that he was “horrified by the violence depicted in the video” and said it was clear to him that “this incident should have been handled differently.”

Police Commissioner James O'Neill echoed the DA’s statement saying he also found the video disturbing, and said the department will be reviewing that video, as well as footage from the officers' body cams.

Speaker Corey Johnson and numerous other councilmembers and advocates stood at City Hall Tuesday denouncing what happened Headley and her 1-year-old son.

“I felt immediately heartbroken for Ms. Headley and for her baby boy, and furious at what I saw because of how unacceptable that video is,” Johnson said.

Headley has been in jail in Rikers Island since Friday, Dec. 7, held on an outstanding arrest warrant from July 2017 for failure to appear in connection with credit card fraud. A judge said that charge would also be dropped if she completes an intervention program, CBS2 reported.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)