A Brooklyn politician on Monday compared the viral video of NYPD officers attempting to pull a 1-year-old from his mother's arms during an arrest to President Trump's controversial family separation policy.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams condemned NYPD officers who responded to a harassment complaint on Friday inside a Brooklyn food stamp office.
“If it’s wrong in Mexico, then it’s wrong in New York City," he said. "Clearly our Police Department, the most well-trained police department in the country, should be able to de-escalate a situation with a baby and the mother without duplicating Trump security removal of children."
The scene unfolded after police responded to reports of a woman, identified as Jazmine Headley, 23, who allegedly refused to leave despite requests from peace officers inside the building, Pix 11 reported.
Headley was sitting on the floor of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program office since there were no available seats, according to Nyashia Ferguson, the woman who uploaded the video.
The video begins with Headley lying on the floor as she holds her son.
"You’re hurting my son! You’re hurting my son,” she yells as police appear to try and pull the infant away.
After officers were unsuccessful, one appears to be seen repeatedly yanking at the child as a crowd of bystanders shouted against the officer's move. The same officer who appeared to yank at the child is also seen on video waving a yellow stun gun at onlookers.
The incident has garnered condemnation from local politicians and residents.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident "disturbing" and promised answers following public outrage. "This was a disturbing incident. Like anyone who’s watched this video, I have a lot of questions about how this was handled. NYPD & HRA will get to the bottom of what happened," he tweeted.
Pat Lynch, the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association president, defended the officers involved, saying, "These police officers were put in an impossible situation. They didn’t create the dispute at the HRA office – as always, they were called in to deal with the inevitable fallout when the rest of our city government fails in its task."
Jacqueline Jenkins, Headley’s mother, said the way police handled the situation was “unacceptable.”
“She’s trying to save her son from somebody snatching him out her arms. She didn’t do anything wrong,” Jenkins said. “It was unnecessary to use that much force.”
Headley was initially charged with resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration and trespassing. She was released on Tuesday night after Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said he was dropping all charges "in the interest of justice."
"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," Gonzalez said.in a statement.
"I'm just so grateful to everyone and I'm just happy to be free and I just need to see my boy," Jazmine Headley said after her release on Rikers Island.
The Trump administration separated 81 migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border since the June executive order that stopped the general practice amid a crackdown on illegal crossings, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.
Despite the order and a federal judge’s later ruling, immigration officials are allowed to separate a child from a parent in certain cases — serious criminal charges against a parent, concerns over the health and welfare of a child or medical concerns. Those caveats were in place before the zero-tolerance policy that prompted the earlier separations at the border.
The Associated Press contributed to this report