New York City peace officers who were on the scene when a child was pulled from the arms of a mother say that the woman was being verbally abusive and deliberately used her 18-month-old son as a shield to avoid arrest, according to internal Human Resources Administration reports obtained by the New York Daily News. The incident was caught on video and went viral. Witness statements from security officers reportedly portray the mother, Jazmine Headley, as intentionally escalating the situation by refusing to clear the passageway where she was sitting inside a Brooklyn SNAP office. The reports also indicate that there were empty seats in the office—contradicting Headley’s claim that she had to sit on the floor. Headley’s infant was in a stroller when the altercation began, but after the cops were called, she “began to use her baby as a shield from getting arrested and was telling the officers ‘You better not touch me,’” a witness claimed. Headley, who went to the HRA center after her benefits were abruptly cut off, maintains that she did nothing to provoke the struggle that ended with her son being torn from her arms. She was initially charged with resisting arrest, but prosecutors dropped the case.
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