NEW YORK—A New York mother is speaking out about her arrest for “failure to wear a face mask” after she was pushed to the ground by police after tensions rose when she refused to put on a mask in a subway station last week. Her lawyer said he plans to take civil actions against the city and its police department for damages.
“While we encourage all New Yorkers to social distance and to wear masks, it is not necessary to have what happened to this young victim 22 years old to happen to anyone else in the city,” her attorney Sanford Rubenstein said.
Police arrested Kaleemah Rozier, 22, in a New York subway on May 13 for not wearing a protective mask properly. The arrest was captured on video and quickly went viral. On Tuesday, Rozier spoke out against the arrest saying she will get justice.
“It’s very hurtful for me because it was in front of my son, my 5-year-old son, like, he was crying, like, I don’t understand how could they do that in front of my son, and it’s very hurtful. And that’s all I gotta say,” Rozier said.
According to New York’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, the officers politely informed her she cannot enter the transit system without properly wearing a mask, before escorting her out of the station.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) says she used vulgar language and refused to wear her mask over her nose and mouth.
Rozier let go of her 5-year-old son’s hand to push an officer’s hand. As a result, three officers grabbed her, knocking what appears to be her phone out of her hand. They wrestled her to the ground, hand-cuffed her, and took her into custody and arrested her.
“What the cops did to me was wrong, especially in front of my son, and to have the biggest cop, sit on me,” Rozier said.
Rozier’s lawyer is calling on the King’s County District Attorney to drop the one charge against her, which is for resisting arrest. He says he will be bringing civil actions against the city of New York and the NYPD for damages for the injuries she sustained.
He is also coming after the city on behalf of her 5-year-old son “who saw his mother taken into custody, thrown to the ground, sat on by a police officer at five years old, not understanding what was happening in shock, who was traumatized by this.”
“There’s six of them there. Why are they attacking a mother and her child?” Kirill Kachnsky, an entrepreneur who watched the viral video which was since been viewed over 1.5 million times, told NTD News.
“Now that child will remember that you know probably the rest of his life, and he’ll wonder, ‘What’s goin’ on? These people don’t like my mother,’” Katherine Chavis, a retired artist, told NTD.
After the incident, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will no longer enforce mask wearing unless there is serious danger.
The police issued Rozier a Desk Appearance Ticket and released her. Her court date is set for Sept. 10.
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From NTD News