The Atlantic

The Bigger Failure Exposed by Jazmine Headley’s Arrest

Why were police officers called to the scene in the first place?
Source: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Earlier this week, a day-care center in New York City informed a 23-year-old mother, Jazmine Headley, that there was a problem with her account. For whatever reason, the city had stopped paying the fee for her son. To sort things out, she went to a municipal office with her 1-year-old in tow, hoping to somehow get her child-care benefits restored.

“After sitting for some time on the floor, she got into an argument with a security guard who asked her to move,” The New York Times reported. “After that, somebody called the police.” The details are sketchy. But two NYPD officers responded to the scene. There were also multiple security officers working for the city’s Human Resources Administration. The officers tried to remove Headley by force, even as someone started recording video footage of the altercation. As it escalated, an officer forcefully removed her child from her arms.   

The footage provoked widespread outrage on social media. “The officers pried the boy from Ms. Headley’s grip, and one officer waved a stun gun at an outraged crowd, some of whom were filming the arrest on their phones,” the reports. “Ms. Headley was charged with

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