The city of New York has reached a settlement in the amount of $625,000 with Jazmine Headley, the mother who had her baby torn from her arms during an arrest last year at a Brooklyn benefits center.
The controversial incident that was caught on video started when two security guards instructed Headley to stop sitting on the floor at the crowded benefits office.
Headley said she had been waiting at the center for 4 hours and there were no available seats.
Things escalated when two NYPD officers arrived on the scene. After confronting Headley, they began to pry her son from her arms as they arrested her.
Headley was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and acting in a manner injurious to a child, however, the Brooklyn district attorney dropped the case just a few days later.
The $625,000 settlement was confirmed by the city Law Department last week.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said the city hopes the settlement will give Headley a “degree of closure.”
“Ms. Headley came to the city seeking help, and we failed to treat her with the dignity and respect she deserved,” said spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie. “While this injustice should have never happened, it forced a reckoning with how we treat our most vulnerable and prompted us to make reforms at HRA Centers across the City.”
The two security guards who initially approached Headley were suspended without pay for 30 days. Additionally, the Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks announced earlier this year that he would require security guards to wear body cameras by the start of 2020.
The City Council also passed several reforms in response to the incident that were intended to improve poor New Yorkers’ experiences at benefits offices.