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Cops Pepper-sprayed 5 Month Old Baby, Mom Alleges in Lawsuit

A mother is suing the New York Police Department (NYPD) after cops allegedly pepper-sprayed her three little children.
 
 
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A mother is suing the New York Police Department (NYPD) over what she says was an instance of police brutality where cops pepper-sprayed her three little children. Courthouse News Service reports that the mother, Marilyn Taylor, made the claims recently in court about the alleged August 9 incident.

Taylor says that police officers pepper sprayed her three children, who are 5-months old and 2 and 4 years old. She claims that as she was on her way to board a Manhattan-bound L Train, officers stopped her and her husband and accused them of trying to skip a fare. Taylor was pushing a stroller with her two-year-old through a service door rather than the regular turnstile.

That’s when the police officers allegedly pepper sprayed Taylor, and the spray hit her children. The lawsuit claims that “the pepper-spray caused the children to scream out and choked the two-year old, who went into fits of vomiting.”

Taylor was arrested, and she said that cops pushed her down the stairs so harshly that the handcuffs bruised her wrists and lower back, according to Courthouse News Service. The officers who carried out the alleged brutality are named in the suit: Maripily Clase, Suranjit Dey and Jermaine Hodge.

Taylor’s husband, named Dehaven McClain, had to get all three children home by himself.

A day after the incident, Taylor says she “received an adjournment in contemplation of a dismissal, meaning the charges would be tossed if she did not get arrested again within a certain time,” according to the news outlet.

The lawsuit provides more details on the aftermath of the attack. “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 reads.

Taylor has said that the officers have continued to harass her since the August 9 event.

The family is seeking punitive damages for what they say were civil rights violations, assault, battery, negligence, and violations to the state and federal constitutions, according to the Courthouse News Service. The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment.

Alex Kane is AlterNet's New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

 
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