The mom of three kids, including a two-year-old and a five-month old, has headed to court leveling some pretty serious accusations against NYPD officers. She and her family claim officers first accused her of jumping a subway fare and then pepper-sprayed her children. She’s suing the city, the NYPD and three officers in Federal Court.
According to Courthouse News, the woman claims she and her children were about to board a train on Aug. 9. Her two-year-old was in a stroller while she held the hand of her four-year-old and the father held the baby against his chest.
She says officers stopped her because they thought she hadn’t paid her subway fare, as she was pushing the stroller through a service entrance and not the turnstile. For those unfamiliar with the NYC subway system, passengers with large items such as strollers have the option of swiping their cards at a turnstile and then entering the platform area through a service door.
“The aggressiveness of the officers’ demeanors had upset the four-year-old daughter, and her mother bent down to console her and tell her, ‘everything will be OK,” the complaint states.
At that time, the woman says one of the officers pepper sprayed her and she fell to her knees, with the spray hitting each member of her family.
“The pepper-spray caused the children to scream out and choked the two-year old, who went into fits of vomiting,” the complaint states. The complaint goes on to say the woman was placed in handcuffs while the children cried, and their father had to get the kids home safely by himself.
According to the mom, she was arraigned the next day and received an adjournment in contemplation of a dismissal, which means the charges would go away if she wasn’t arrested in a certain time period. She claims she and her kids had to get medical attention because of the after effects of the spray.
“After the attack, mother and father suffered ongoing eye injuries and all three children suffer emotional harms, and are now afraid to ride the subways and become afraid when they see police officers. The four year-old cried herself to sleep for weeks, and after the incident the two-year-old began waking up in the night crying for her mother,” the complaint states.
In addition, the family is accusing the officers of continued harassment, which they say has made them stop using certain subway stops. They’re seeking punitive damages for civil rights violations, assault, battery, negligence, and violations to the state and federal constitutions.
Mom Says NYPD Pepper-Sprayed Baby [Courthouse News]