Yandy Smith was pepper-sprayed on Sunday while protesting outside of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The Love & Hip Hop star was among hundreds of individuals—including Women’s March co-founder Tamika Mallory and rapper/activist Mysonne
—who gathered after reports that inmates at the federal jail went days without power or heat.
Fox 5 News reporter Lisa Evers shared a picture of Smith after the incident on Sunday afternoon. “Yandy sprayed with pepper spray at MDC trying to support a mother worried about her son,” she captioned the image.
During the gathering, Smith took to Instagram to condemn people who claimed she was out in Brooklyn only for attention.
“Here real change is happening because we demanded it and put in the work. Stop sitting at home judging, causing dissension, and allowing nonsense to cloud your vision of what’s right!” she wrote. “Get up and get out there with me. You see the work and I will CONTINUE TO POST! SO THE NEXT TIME YOU SAY YANDY DOES IT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MAKE SURE YOU ADD BUT SHE REALLY PUTS IN THE WORK AND MAKES THINGS HAPPEN!”
The power and heat reportedly went out because of an electrical issue within the correctional facility, according to The New York Times. It is unclear how long the 1,600 inmates were without the amenities but many of them called federal defenders to report the freezing conditions during the harsh cold weather last week in New York City.
The inmates brought public attention to the issue by banging on the window bars of their cells.
After the weekend-long protest, officials restored the power in the center on Sunday night. The celebrity manager shared the victory with her nearly 6 million followers.
“YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! We see lights!!! Lights are on!! We did it! @tamikadmallory@jamilatdavis@trife_gangsta@mysonnenygeneral@bonded4ever. Hope this means the heat is on too. We won’t leave until we have that,” the reality star said.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.