City Of New York To Pay $610K Settlement To Bronx Woman Who Was Forced To Give Birth In Cuffs
Back in 2018, a mother was forced to give birth to her child while in handcuffs. After filing a lawsuit against the city of New York, she was awarded a total of $610,000 for her traumatic experience.
The incident happened February 7th, according to CNN. The woman identified as Jane Doe, was arrested in Bronx County Family Court for violating an order of protection that was part of a child custody dispute with her former partner. Her attorney Katherine Rosenfeld said she was 40 weeks pregnant at the time and there was no urgent need to arrest her.
She was taken from jail to New York’s Montefiore Medical Center the next morning with metal cuffs on her wrists and shackles on her feet, binding her legs together at the ankles. Doctors even argued with the officers to remove the restraints, saying they could endanger the woman and her child, the complaint said. However, NYPD says it was policy to keep the shackles on her. Now, shackling pregnant women in police custody or prison was actually banned in New York State starting in 2009.
The suit claims that “Ms. Doe was terrified for herself and for her baby.”
After pleading with doctors, the officers removed the shackles just minutes before she gave birth, the complaint said. However, they shackled her again just minuets after she delivered her baby. Doe was restricted contact with her newborn. It was said that she had to feed her daughter with one arm and she remained in shackles until she was arraigned in her hospital bed hours later.
NYPD did not assume any wrongdoing of
“assault, unlawful use of restraints and violations of her constitutional rights.”
But, along with the settlement the department did issues an apology and said it intends to amend its patrol guide, Detective Sophia Mason said in a statement.
“The woman experienced a horrific violation of her rights by the NYPD during one of the most intimate moments in a woman’s life: labor, delivery, and welcoming a new baby in her first day of life,” Rosenfeld said and added, “The NYPD owes Ms. Doe a public apology for this incident, but the payment of this settlement and the revision of its policies will have to serve that function.”
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