City peace officers — who in December called police on a mother sitting on the floor of a Brooklyn social services office during a four-hour wait — are no longer in their roles, the city confirmed Monday.
The Human Resources Administration (HRA), which is a division of the Department of Social Services, said one officer has resigned and the other has been reassigned to administrative duties. Disciplinary charges are pending that could result in the officers being fired. Their identities have not been confirmed.
The peace officers were initially placed on modified duty and then suspended. 23-year-old Jazmine Headley's toddler was ripped from her arms by NYPD officers during her arrest. The HRA peace officers had called police after Headley got into a dispute with them, and the situation escalated.
Police were called when Headley refused a security guard's order to leave. She ended up lying face-down on the floor during a tug of war with the NYPD over her 18-month-old son.
"You're hurting my son!" are the words Headley screamed as she was forcibly arrested and her child grabbed from her arms.
Other clients shouted at the officers. At one point, an officer can be seen on video from a bystander pulling her stun gun and pointing it at people in the angry crowd.
Headley was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child, and trespassing, but those charges were later dropped.
Teamsters Union Local 237, the union that represents the two peace officers, has argued that the peace officers have been used as scapegoats because Mayor Bill de Blasio didn't want to call out the NYPD officers who actually ripped the toddler from Headley's arms.
"The mayor is afraid of the PBA [the Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents New York City patrol officers]," Greg Floyd, the head of Teamsters Union Local 237, said in December. "He's afraid of the police officers and he looked for a scapegoat, so he took two minority women who can barely make a living, make less than the police officers, during Christmastime and he suspends them for his own political life."
In their written statements, the two Human Resources Administration officers said it was Headley who escalated the situation. One said "the female client intentionally used her toddler son as a shield." The other wrote that "NYPD officers tried to get the baby off her but she was putting up a fight. She kicked me on my right shoulder and P.O. Weekes also got bitten on her left arm." A source gave NY1 a picture of the injury:
The NYPD officers involved have not been punished. The NYPD has blamed the peace officers for escalating the situation, saying one of them grabbed Headley's arm as she appeared to head towards the exit, resulting in both of them being pulled to the ground.
In response to the viral incident, the NYPD changed the way police and HRA peace officers interact going forward. According to an internal memo obtained by NY1, anytime the police receive a call from HRA, or in a situation involving an on-duty HRA employee, the NYPD must send a patrol supervisor to respond.