It’s been just over a year since Brooklyn mom Jazmine Headley made headlines following an altercation with NYPD at a food assistance center in the city. On Friday it was announced that the 24-year-old would receive a $625,000 from the de Blasio administration to settle a federal lawsuit that she waged against the city.
The year-long fiasco started in December 2018 when video footage captured Headley, then 23, sitting on the floor at a SNAP center. Office personnel called officers to remove the young woman in need of federal benefits, from the office. As ESSENCE reported at the time, instead of assisting the young woman, officers attempted to take the one-year-old child who was in her arms, away from her. They also dragged the young woman before violently ripping her child from her grasp and placing her under arrest.
Headley was jailed in New York at Rikers Island and soon released, but still faced legal battles with the city and the state of New Jersey where she had a warrant out for her arrest. A GoFundMe campaign helped the young mom who was receiving federal benefits, get back on her feet and address financial needs. She also received an apology from de Blasio.
“What happened to Jazmine Headley last week at the HRA facility was disturbing and unacceptable,” de Blasio tweeted at the time. “It shouldn’t have happened to her or anyone. We are conducting a thorough investigation, but on behalf of the City of New York, I want to apologize to Ms. Headley and her family.”
Though city officials agreed that the footage was damning, the “peace officers” who responded to the call that ultimately left Headley in jail, were said to have done nothing wrong. Headley shot back with a federal lawsuit, telling the New York Times that she was taking the step to stand up for herself and other women who may find themselves in a similar situation. A slew of legislation was also passed to ensure what happened to the Brooklyn resident, wouldn’t happen to anyone else.
While the $625,000 settlement appeases her federal lawsuit and is likely to put Headley on more stable ground, it will never take away the fact that she, as her lawsuit claimed, was “humiliated, assaulted, physically injured, threatened with a Taser, brutally separated from her son, handcuffed, arrested, and jailed” simply because she was trying to take care of her son.