A woman was awarded a $ 2 million settlement by the city of Philadelphia after being assaulted by police officers last year.
Rickia Young, was pulled from her vehicle, beaten by police, and separated from her 2-year-old son in October 2020, reports ABC News.
“I will never forget what those officers did to us that night,” Young said in a press conference on Tuesday. “I hope that the officers responsible will never have the chance to do something like this to another person ever again.”
The incident occurred as anti-police brutality protests regarding the police shooting and killing of Walter Wallace Jr. were happening across the City of Brotherly Love.
While driving through West Philadelphia with her 2-year-old son and her friend’s 16-year-old son, Young unknowingly drove up to a confrontation between a group of protesters and the police. The officers ordered Young to turn her car around. As she began to turn the car, Young’s lawyers said she paused so that she wouldn’t hit the protesters, who were in her car’s way. As she attempted to leave the scene, officers used their batons to smash out her windows and began beating her, her legal team said. Video of the horrendous assault was recorded by a bystander on cellphone camera and went viral online.
Young suffered from swelling of her face and body, as well as a swollen trachea.
For several hours, Young was handcuffed and separated from her 2-year-old son and her friend’s teen son; yet, no one was ever charged or cited, NBC News reported.
“She’s still dealing with the trauma, even though it’s been almost a year,” Young’s attorney, Kevin Mincey said. “She’s still dealing with that, and she’s dealing with the trauma being exhibited by her son as well.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called the treatment of Young “absolutely appalling” and “inexcusable.”
“This terrible incident, which should have never happened to anyone, only further strained the relationship between the police and community,” Kenney said in a statement
“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,” he continued. “I hope that the settlement and investigations into the officers’ actions bring some measure of closure to Ms. Young and her family.”
Two policemen, an officer and a sergeant, were terminated for their involvement in the incident, a city spokesperson said.
“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,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said 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,” she continued.
Mincey is calling on the district attorney to prosecute all the officers involved.
“The district attorney Lawrence Krasner needs to file criminal charges against the officers who were involved,” he said. “If any citizen did something like this, there would be no question they will be charged with aggravated assault as a felony.”