Jazmine Headley, the young mother whose Friday arrest went viral after New York City police officers swarmed her and her infant son in a public services office, will be released from Rikers Island without bail after she was held there for five days.
On Tuesday morning, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez dropped charges stemming from the incident, saying in a statement on Twitter that he was “horrified by the violence depicted in the video and immediately opened an investigation into this case.”
Headley was arrested at the Human Resources Administration office in Brooklyn on Friday after she sat down on the floor in the crowded facility, where she had been waiting for hours. She was told to stand up by a security officer, grew upset, and was arrested moments later. In the video of her arrest, which was recorded by a bystander, police officers are seen attempting to rip her 1-year-old son away from her as she lies on the ground crying out for them to stop, screaming, “You’re hurting my son.”
She spent five days in jail over the incident, which inspired outrage across the city and prompted high-profile New Yorkers like Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for her immediate release and an investigation into the arrest.
But she stayed behind bars at Rikers for five days.
The district attorney’s office says it would’ve allowed her to return home as she waited out her court date, but they couldn't do so because of an outstanding warrant for her arrest from Mercer County, New Jersey. Headley was wanted there after failing to show up for an arraignment in July 2017 for charges of credit card theft and trafficking in personal identifying information.
She’s now being released from Rikers Island on her own recognizance, meaning she has to promise to show up for future court dates.
Scott Hechinger, attorney and director of policy at Brooklyn Defender Services, which is representing Headley, wrote on Twitter that a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge called the arrest a “horrific scene.” A GoFundMe to cover her child care, organized by Brooklyn Defender Services, has since raised nearly $15,000.
Cover screenshot via Facebook