A Philadelphia mom and the city have reached a settlement after a video showed her and her 2-year-old son being pulled from an SUV by police during a protest that her attorneys say she was not a participant of.
Rickia Young, 29, spoke at a press conference and said she “will never forget what those officers did to us that night,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Young and her son, along with a friend’s teenage son, were aggressively yanked from the car on Oct. 27, 2020, and had the windows of the vehicle smashed in.
The group was in their car driving through protests against the police killing of a Black man whose family said was experiencing a mental health crisis. During the incident, Young was also separated from her child.
The city has granted Young $2 million after negotiations, Newsone reports.
The health care aide was not charged with any crime during the night of the protest, and Mayor Jim Kenney said the video of the incident was “absolutely appalling.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said that “instead of fighting crime and the fear of crime, some of the officers on the scene created an environment that terrorized Rickia Young, her family and other members of the public.”
While some of the officers have since been fired, others are awaiting disciplinary action after a photo was also posted to Facebook of law enforcement holding Young’s 2-year-old son. The post, according to Young’s attorneys, wrongfully portrayed an officer as a hero.
“This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness,” a police union wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post. “The only thing this Philadelphia police officer cared about in that moment was protecting the child.”
Young also blasted the national Fraternal Order of Police for using false imagery to portray her as an incompetent mother as “chaos” filled the city’s streets.
But while Young continues to seek justice, she said she hope’s “that the officers responsible will never have the chance to do something like [that] to another person ever again.”
“Our physical injuries may heal, but the pain of seeing those images of my son in the arms of an officer and that horrible caption written to describe that picture may never heal. They need to be held responsible,” Young said.
The Philadelphia native has called for charges to be brought against the officers involved, however, District Attorney Larry Krasner said he couldn’t confirm a criminal investigation. He said investigations into police brutality during incidents such as protests “presents a challenge in terms of locating body-worn cameras for the individuals involved.”
“When you have a situation that is somewhat fluid on the street,” he said, “it is more difficult to reconstruct exactly what officer was where, when.”