A judge on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Jazmine Headley, 23, whose 1-year-old son was ripped from her arms by police while she waited for a child care voucher at the Human Resources Administration office in Brooklyn.
Headley, who was being held at Rikers Island on an unrelated warrant since Friday, was released later Tuesday night.
“I haven’t got to read all of the articles,” Headley told reporters after being released, referring to the viral video of her arrest.
“I’m just happy to be free, and I need to see my boy,” she said.
Earlier Tuesday, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that Headley would not face charges related to her Friday arrest and called for her immediate release.
In a statement, Gonzalez said he was “horrified by the violence” of Headley’s arrest, which was captured in a video that went viral Monday. He immediately opened an investigation into the incident and concluded that the situation “should have been handled differently.”
As seen in the video, captured by Nyashia Ferguson, three New York City Police Department officers restrained Headley while ripping her crying 1-year-old from her arms. Ferguson told CBS New York that the chaos erupted after a security guard told Headley, who was sitting on the floor of the crowded waiting room, to stand up.
Office staff called police after Headley refused to stand.
“They’re hurting my son! They’re hurting my son,” Headley is heard yelling to bystanders in the video. “I’m begging you, please!”
NYPD officers arrested Headley and charged her with resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child and criminal trespass. Her son is with a relative, the Times reported.
“I was just so disgusted,” Ferguson told CBS New York. “I couldn’t believe they were doing that to that child. I just couldn’t believe it. It was crazy.”
Gonzalez blamed a Human Resources Administration officer for the incident.
The HRA officer “escalated the situation as Ms. Headley was about to leave the premises, creating an awful scenario of a baby being torn from his mother,” the district attorney said.
“She and her baby have been traumatized, she was jailed on an unrelated warrant and may face additional collateral consequences,” he continued.
This story has been updated with a comment from Headley made after her release.