Mother Claims NYPD Maced Her Babies

Posted By Urban News Hour | April 1, 2013

A New York City mother of three says her children are terrified of the police after an NYPD officer unleashed a burst of pepper-spray on her children, including a 2-year old and 5-month old baby.

Marilyn Taylor has filed a lawsuit over the August 9 incident and will now be taking the New York Police Department and the city itself to federal court.

According to legal filings obtained by Courthouse News Service, Taylor was stopped by the police last summer on suspicion of skipping out on metro fare while attempting to board a New York City subway. She was pushing her 2-year-old child in a stroller and holding her 4-year-old kid’s hand while the children’s father, Dehaven McClain, carried the couple’s 5-month-old newborn through a service entrance at a station in lieu of the traditional turnstile.

Allegedly Officers Maripily Clase, Suranjit Dey and Jermaine Hodge stopped the woman to question her and, according to court papers, “The aggressiveness of the officers’ demeanors had upset the four-year-old daughter, and her mother bent down to console her and tell her, ‘everything will be OK.”

Just moments later, though, things took a nasty turn. Taylor alleges that Officer Dey discharged a burst of pepper-spray at her, which was broad enough to choke-up the entire family.

“The pepper-spray caused the children to scream out and choked the two-year old, who went into fits of vomiting,” the complaint states. “Ms. Taylor was then placed in handcuffs as the minor children cried in fear and pain.”

Taylor was taken away by the police while her family withered in pain, and a day later was arraigned in court and told that charges would be dismissed if she stays out of trouble. Dropping charges for allegedly skipping out on subway fare was the least of her concerns, though. According to the complaint recently filed in federal court, the effects of the attack are lingering with her and her family.

“After the attack, mother and father suffered ongoing eye injuries and all three children suffer emotional harms, and are now afraid to ride the subways and become afraid when they see police officers. The four year-old cried herself to sleep for weeks, and after the incident the two-year-old began waking up in the night crying for her mother,” the complaint states.

Taylor’s attorneys also allege that, since the indecent, “plaintiffs have suffered repeated harassment from the officer defendants, forcing them to avoid the MTA through the Atlantic Avenue stop.”

Taylor, represented by David Rankin of Rankin & Taylor, PLLC., seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, assault, battery, negligence, and violations to the state and federal constitutions.

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