Prosecutors dropped charges Tuesday against a woman whose 1-year-old son was ripped from her arms by police days earlier at a Brooklyn food stamp office. Jazmine Headley, 23, remained held at a Rikers Island facility, online records showed, following a dispute Friday with security officers that led to her violent arrest.
Video published to Facebook shows Headley clutching her infant child on tiled floor as four officers try to forcefully yank the baby out of her arms. One officer brandishes a stun gun, aiming it at the outraged crowd around them.
"They're hurting my son! They're hurting my son!" Headley shouts in the video, which has gone viral.
After eventually splitting mother from child, police charged Headley with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing. Those charges were dismissed by Tuesday afternoon, according to the Brooklyn public defender’s office, which planned to file a motion for Headley's release.
A New Jersey warrant had also been issued for Headley on a credit card misdemeanor, prosecutors said. Bail was not requested as of Monday and prosecutors were contacting New Jersey officials to "expedite" Headley's release.
"This morning my office spoke to the Brooklyn DA about dropping the charges against Ms. Headley," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter. "I applaud the DA’s decision to do so. She should be reunited with her child as soon as possible."
The struggle over the infant unfolded after Headley, unable to find a chair, sat on the floor of the benefits office for two hours. A security guard asked her to leave, which she refused. That's when police were called.
Police said Headley later refused medical treatment for herself and her son, who was handed over to a relative, according to The New York Times.
“The baby was screaming for his life,” Nyashia Ferguson, who witnessed the incident and posted video, told the Times. “The lady was begging for them to get off of her. I was scared.”
A protest was planned for Tuesday outside Brooklyn's Human Resources Administration offices, CBS New York reported, and administration officers involved in the incident had been placed on modified duty.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the NYPD officer's body cameras would be reviewed.
"I’ll tell you the video is very disturbing to me — as PC, & as a dad," he said on Twitter. "Also, #NYPD cops have a very tough job. We were called to a chaotic situation & we’re looking at all available video to determine why certain decisions were made."
See the video below:
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Charges dropped against mother after police rip 1-year-old son from her arms in video