“It’s the story of many other people, it’s not just my story,” she noted. “My story is the only one that made it to the surface.”
“They never asked me my name,” Headley added. “They never said, ‘Hello, who are you?’ They never asked me.”Headley told the Times that she tried to leave the center with her son shortly after police arrived after she got into an argument with a security guard who told her she was blocking the fire zone and needed to move. Headley acknowledged that she initially refused, pointing out that there were trash and recycling bins against the wall next to her son’s stroller.
“I just remember being talked to very viciously,” she said. “It was more or less: ‘You’re going to do what I say, and that’s it.’”But again, when officers came she attempted to leave the facility, but a male police officer said it was too late, prompting her to go into “defense mode.”
“In my head, I told myself they’re not going to let me leave,” she acknowledged. “I was so afraid. I was combative with my thoughts.”
“I should’ve left, and I didn’t because if I would’ve left, my son would not have the things that he needs,” she added. What happened next remains a blur to her, according to the report. Police claim that a security guard grabbed Headley by the arm, and they both fell to the ground. What happened next remains captured in the online video that shows Headley wailing and trying to hold on to her son as officers yank at the boy’s shirt and arms. As Headley is pinned to the floor by officers she could be heard saying, “I’m begging you please.” Ultimately she was lead away in handcuffs, separated from her son. She was later released from jail after Brooklyn’s District Attorney declined to prosecute her on various charges, noting that “Continuing to pursue this case will not serve any purpose and I, therefore, moved today to dismiss it immediately in the interest of justice.” Despite the officers being cleared of wrongdoing in the case, the city social services commissioner has suspended the two security guards that were involved in the initial encounter, and has started the process to fire them, the Times notes.
“I could only see my children in that situation, and it’s just heartbreaking,” Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks said. The agency is in the process of reviewing how is office deals with people who are accompanied by children and has promised to retrain staff, security guards and peace officers.