Philadelphia has agreed to pay $2 million to a woman after officers smashed the windows of her vehicle, ripped her from the car and assaulted her in front of her toddler last fall, lawyers announced Tuesday.
However, the attorney for Rickia Young, 29, said they are still calling for criminal charges against the officers, some of whom were later fired, and have sued the national Fraternal Order of Police over a since-deleted social media post showing Young's son that attorney Riley Ross called "propaganda."
"I will never forget what those officers did to us that night," Young said at a press conference Tuesday. "I hope that the officers responsible will never have the chance to do something like this to another person ever again."
In October, Young was driving home with her 2-year-old son and 16-year-old nephew when she encountered a group of protesters just hours after police fatally shot 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., a Black man whose family had called for mental health help. Police had blocked off the street and Young attempted to make a U-turn, but stopped to avoid hitting the demonstrators.
That's when officers wearing riot gear and wielding batons smashed her windows, pulled Young and her nephew from the vehicle, and beat them causing "significant injuries," Ross said.
Young was separated from her son for hours and taken to the hospital, her lawyers said.
After Young was taken into custody, Ross said the Fraternal Order of Police shared a photo on Facebook of an officer holding her son with a caption that claimed the child was wandering around by himself during the protests.
“This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness,” the union said in the post, according to screenshots shared by Ross and the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The only thing this Philadelphia police officer cared about in that moment was protecting this child.”
The national FOP said in a statement to USA TODAY at the time that it took the post down after learning of "conflicting accounts of the circumstances under which the child came to be assisted by the officer."
But Ross said the post caused additional emotional harm and was "designed to spread a false narrative."
"They’re attempting to erase what happened — police brutality — and turn it instead into police saviorism," Ross said. "It's another deep wound that they cut."
The local chapter of the FOP, which the New York Times reported is representing the officers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, two officers involved in the incident were fired in May following an internal investigation into the assault, spokesperson Tanya Little told USA TODAY. The investigation found that Officer Darren Kardos violated the department's policies on excessive force and damaging private property and Sgt. David Chisholm violated policies related to inappropriate language, conduct, or gestures use of force, and lying during an investigation, Little said.
Currently, 14 officers are awaiting disciplinary hearings as a result of internal affairs findings, Little said.
The officers are not facing criminal charges. Jane Roh, a spokesperson for District Attorney Larry Krasner's Office, said she "cannot confirm or comment on any potential criminal investigation of this incident at this time."
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement that the actions of some of the officers "violated the mission of the Philadelphia Police Department."
"As a matter of fact, the ability for officers and supervisors on the scene to diffuse the situation was abandoned, and instead of fighting crime and the fear of crime, some of the officers on the scene created an environment that terrorized Rickia Young, her family, and other members of the public," Outlaw continued.
Mayor Jim Kenney said the incident was “absolutely appalling" and further strained the relationship between the police and the community in a statement.
"The officers’ inexcusable actions that evening prompted an immediate and thorough investigation of the incident and for personnel to be disciplined and held accountable for their egregious conduct," he said. “I hope that the settlement and investigations into the officers’ actions bring some measure of closure to Ms. Young and her family.”
Young's child is "still, just as early as yesterday morning, saying that he’s afraid of the police," Ross said. He added that Young not only suffers from back and neck pain from the incident, but also "the emotional pain that comes with nightmares, the inability to sleep, the depression."
Young and her lawyers say the family won't be able to get closure until the lawsuit with the FOP is settled.
"I want them to be held accountable," Young said. "Our physical injuries may heal, but the pain of seeing those images of my son in the arms of an officer and that horrible caption written to describe that picture may never heal."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Philadelphia to pay $2M after police beat Rickia Young, broke windows