By: FYC and President Kalambayi Andenet
Brooklyn- New York. On December 11, 2018 , 23 year old African mother Jazmine Headley’s one year old African son Damon Buckman III, was violently ripped from her arms by the NYPD at the Human Resources Administration office on Bergen Street.
Headley went to the office to find out why her public assistance benefit that covered Daycare service for her son was stopped. Jazmine, a worker who cleans offices needed to solve this problem so she could continue to support her son.
Jazmine arrived at the Human Resources Administration office around 10 am. She did not see a case worker until roughly 12:20 am. Headley was then informed that she would have to refile for Daycare benefits for her son. It would require a much longer wait for her to get help.
Damon became restless, stated Headley at which point she proceeded walk back to the Waiting room to find no available seats. She found a spot on the floor to sit with enough space to put her son”s stroller beside her.
Moments later, a security guard engaged Jazmine, asking her to move because allegedly she was blocking a fire exit [ “It was later determined that she was not blocking a fire zone”- Essence Feb. 5, 2019].
Headley explained to the security guard there were no seats left. There was trash and recycle bins against the wall on the other side of where her son’s stroller was.
The security guard called the police on Jazmine after she did not move. Jazmine had no reason to move.
African Mother Defends Her Child
The NYPD were brought on the scene by a security guard who escalated the attack on Jazmine by grabbing her arm. The heart wrenching ordeal was caught on a 3 minute video that went viral on the internet.
Jazmine can be heard screaming on the video “you’re hurting my son” as she is on the floor surround by 4 to 5 pigs. They forcibly grabbed at her son and her arms as bystanders loudly voiced there objection to the State attacking the African mother and her son. Towards the end of the video, 1 pig can be seen drawing her taser and threatening the people witnessing the act of terrorism against a young black woman.
Damon was taken from his mother that day and she spent the next 4 nights at Rikers Island.
Jazmine was released from Rikers Island and all charges against her were dropped. One security guard has been fired and another has been reported to be in the process of being fired.
An NYPD Internal Affairs has also been reported to maintain that the cops did nothing wrong.
“It’s the story of many other people, it’s not just my story,” Ms. Headley said in an interview. “My story is the only one that made it to the surface.” [NY Times Dec.16 2018]
“We want Power, we will not be bamboozled”
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) President, Kalambayi Andenet, described the relationship between the African community and the welfare system.
“This is an everyday experience for the African working class in America. We go into these welfare offices that are run by the state and feel the same way we do walking into the courtroom. You look around and see that the “jury of your peers” are not really your peers, that the judge is just a man who will side with the state against you and that this entire courtroom is bent on your oppression. We feel the same exact feeling when walking into the welfare office.
No one is jumping up and down celebrating the welfare office, saying how great it operates and how good it makes us feel about ourselves, because we know that the welfare office actually operates at the expense of ourselves. The only thing the welfare system has served to do is to further divide the black family and keep us dependent on the state for access to basic necessities.”
President Kalambayi continued
“We, as African people, have to be careful and we cannot be confused about what it is that we are demanding. We are demanding power over our Africa, power over the means of production and power over our communities. We’re not just demanding to be “treated better” by the welfare system, we are demanding power over our lives and the only way that will happen is to do away with the welfare system- destroy it, tear it down. This system does not work in our interest, it works at our expense and we will not allow ourselves to be bamboozled by it.”
The NYPD ain’t changed but WE have to
The New York police department applies brutal force when engaging African people. They operate viciously in the interest of the State, an organization of coercion. Jazmine Headley, like many other Africans have experienced terror at the hands of the State in our daily lives even when we seek help from institutions that are supposed to help the economic degradation they perpetuate against African people.
On February 5, 2019 Jazmine received a public apology on behalf of New York City. This is not enough. Reparations are due to Jazmine Headley. African people must have control over all institutions of assistance we need. Our dignity and well being can only be protected by joining organization and coming back in to political life.
We black People, African people, must understand our inherent power and ability to make our demands met. We must understand that African people, united in any single direction, will effortlessly trample any obstacle laid before us.
We have to be united in the direction of freedom and self determination. We have to be united in a direction where the welfare system won’t be able to tell us nothing, the pigs won’t be able to tell us nothing and the safety of our children will be guaranteed. We have to be united in the direction of revolution.
This is the only direction for African people and the key to this is organization. InPDUM is the key, the organization committed to making our demands a reality for African people.
For 28 years, InPDUM has fought tirelessly for the democratic rights of African people and we will not cease until not one African on Earth is oppressed, not one African wants for a meal or roof, not one African is dependent on these blood suckers we call welfare offices for basic necessities and all Africans exercise power, self determination and control over our own destinies.
Defend African Children!
Jail the pigs!