A Brooklyn mom at the center of a “troubling” viral video was previously arrested and charged with two counts of credit card theft and one count of identity theft, according to ABC News.
Jazmine Headley, 23, was arrested on Friday when she refused to leave a Brooklyn food stamp office after waiting four hours for help.
Headley took a day off from her job as a security guard and went to the food stamp office in Brooklyn to find out why daycare vouchers for her 1-year-old son were cut off.
The food stamp office was crowded and Headley took a seat on the floor with her baby son, Damone.
Human Resources officers asked Headley to stand up because she was blocking a hallway and “disorderly conduct towards other people.” When she refused to leave, staffers called police.
Cellphone video showed officers ripping Headley’s baby son away from her. As usual, the video only shows a small part of what actually happened.
Headley was charged with resisting arrest, committing an act in a manner injurious to a child, criminal trespass and obstruction of governmental administration.
A judge issued a restraining order barring her from coming near her baby.
Following the uproar on social media, the trespassing charge was dropped, but Headley is being held on an outstanding warrant from an unrelated case.
According to ABC News, Headley was indicted by a grand jury in March 2017 on two felony counts of third-degree credit card theft and one count of fourth-degree identity theft. She was arrested on July 23, 2016, in New Jersey, as part of a police investigation into a counterfeit credit card theft ring.
The Brooklyn District Office said it was reaching out to New Jersey to “expedite her release.” Damone was placed in the custody of Headley’s mother, Jacqueline Jenkins, who witnessed the incident at the food stamp office.
“I was devastated to see something like that happen to my daughter and grandson,” Jenkins, told ABC New York station WABC-TV.
A police union defended the officers’ actions.
“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,” Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York, said in a statement.
He said the officers were doing their duties trying to protect the mother and the child.
“The event would have unfolded much differently if those at the scene had simply complied with the officers’ lawful orders,” Lynch said.
He also addressed the social media’s tendency to overreact to incidents such as this one without benefit of all the facts.
“The immediate rush to condemn these officers leaves their fellow cops wondering: when confronted with a similar impossible scenario, what do you want us to do? The answer cannot be ‘do nothing.'”