The cops posted the baby's picture to further their propaganda and characterized the protests as violent.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of race-motivated violence that some readers may find distressing
During the Black Lives Matter protests, Philadelphia cops dragged a Black woman from her car, beat her, and took her child, before posting pictures online pretending to have saved the 'lost' child. Now, Philadelphia has agreed to pay $2 million to her for what happened to her on October 27, 2020. Rickia Young, a nursing aide, was driving home in the early morning hours when she unknowingly drove into a large protest over the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. She then tried to take a three-point turn to go in a different direction, but the officers smashed her windows with their batons, said her attorneys. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney slammed the behavior of the cops, labeling their treatment of the Black woman as absolutely "appalling" and "inexcusable," reported NBC News.
"This terrible incident, which should have never happened to anyone, only further strained the relationship between the" police and community, said Kenney in a statement. Young’s lawyer, Kevin Mincey, said her client was left with “a bloody nose, a swollen trachea, blood in her urine and swelling and pain on her left side." The woman's attorney's also accused the cops of using her child as social media fodder when they posted a picture of a cop cradling the baby and claiming the baby was lost during the protests. The Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest police labor union, had posted the image on Facebook two days after the incident, writing, "This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness. The only thing this Philadelphia Police Officer cared about in that moment was protecting this child."
The post characterized the child as being 'lost,' the parents of the Black child as being irresponsible, the cops as saviors, and the protestors as being lawless and violent. That post was later taken down. “This post was designed to stoke political anger, fear, and resentment,” said young's lawyer. “All of this was done, one week before a contested national election in an effort to advance the political interests of the NFOP (National Fraternal Order of Police). And it was done at the expense of the well-being of a young child and his mother,” added Mincey.
Taxpayers paid this settlement. Philly police department paid nothing. And just yesterday, Philly cops were rewarded w/ a new favorable city contract with $133 million in wage/benefit increases. Im happy Rickia Young is getting compensated. But this isn’t accountability. https://t.co/EFrnFYQrsL pic.twitter.com/3NzL8XNYfw— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) September 15, 2021
The cops had beaten Young, and handcuffed her, separating her from her teenage nephew and 2-year-old son for several hours. During the tussle, the hearing-impaired toddler also lost his hearing aids. Young's attorney said no one was ever charged or cited. A city spokesperson confirmed that two Philadelphia policemen, an officer, and a sergeant were fired in connection with the treatment meted out to the Black woman. “I hope that the officers responsible will never have the chance to do something like this to another person ever again,” Young had said at the time, reported MSNBC.
Rickia Young making a statement after her attorneys announced a $2 million settlement with the city of Philadelphia. Young was pulled from her vehicle by police last October. My full story coming up at 5:00. pic.twitter.com/utGxaEP07Q— Walter Perez (@WalterPerez6abc) September 14, 2021
"The officers’ inexcusable actions that evening prompted an immediate and thorough investigation of the incident and for personnel to be disciplined and held accountable for their egregious conduct. I hope that the settlement and investigations into the officers’ actions bring some measure of closure to Ms. Young and her family," said Mayor Jim Kenney. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also condemned the attack on Young. “The behavior that occurred during the interaction between Rickia Young, her nephew, her son, and some of the officers on the scene violated the mission of the Philadelphia Police Department," said Outlaw in a statement. "As a matter of fact, the ability for officers and supervisors on the scene to diffuse the situation was abandoned, and 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."
After the city settled the issue for $2m, one of Young's lawyers, Mincey said, “It’s life-changing money for Rickia and her family, but what she went through was equally life-changing,” reported the New York Times.