Raising children under suspicion and criminalization

phys.org | 4/28/2019 | Staff
HelloimMe (Posted by) Level 3
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Many were horrified by the viral video of New York City police officers ripping Jazmine Headley's one-year-old from her arms as she cried out, "They're hurting my son!"

On Dec. 7, 2018, Headley was waiting in a Brooklyn, N.Y., social services office when guards asked her to leave because she was sitting on the floor of the overcrowded office. She refused to leave. She was waiting to speak with someone about assistance for childcare for her son, which had just been revoked. Headley needed the childcare to go to work. When she refused to move, the guards called the police.

Headley - Defence - Mode - Son - Police

Headley says she went into "defence mode" holding onto her son as the police continually tried to wrench him from her arms with apparent disregard for any physical or emotional harm this might cause.

After removing her son, police charged Headley with resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration and trespassing. Headley was taken in handcuffs from the Brooklyn social services office. She spent five days in jail before being released and all charges were dropped. The New York City Council has since apologized to Headley.

News - Media - Video - Role - Security

News media labelled the video "appalling" and "disturbing." Many spoke out about the role of security officers stationed at the benefits office, and the excessive actions of the NYPD.

Most news outlets failed to mention the fact that Headley and her son are Black.

Headley - Race - Incident - Fact - Black

Headley's race is significant because it links the incident to a broader empirical fact: low-income Black mothers face harsher treatment in their interactions with social services and other authorities relative to low-income white mothers and, to a lesser extent, Latina mothers.

In protecting their children, low-income Black mothers like Jazmine Headley risk being viewed as irrationally overprotective and simultaneously neglectful. Headley's unwillingness to relinquish her son led to the charge of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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