Yandy Smith pepper sprayed while protesting on behalf of prisoners' rights
“We got serious work to do,” she said after the incident.
On Sunday (Feb. 3), Yandy Smith was at the forefront of a protest gathering outside of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York when she was unexpectedly pepper sprayed.
As first reported by Fox 5 News’ Lisa Evers, the “Love & Hip Hop” star was helping advocate on behalf of those who have reportedly been without electricity and heat for days now in the jail when the protest went left.
Smith documented the aftermath of the incident on her Instagram story, telling fans how her eyes were “on fire” and that she couldn’t breathe after being pepper sprayed and thrown to the ground.
“Y’all know I’m not violent,” she said, filming a canister of pepper spray that had been tossed aside. Reports claim that guards inside of the detention center were using pepper spray to ward off protestors.
“I’m okay. I’m alive,” she added. “But we got work to do. We got serious work to do.”
As reported, approximately 1,600 inmates have been housed inside without heat, hot water, hot meals or lights in their cells for the past week. What makes matters worse is that there’s a polar vortex that resulted in a significant drop in temperatures.
Smith, whose husband Mendeecees Harris is currently incarcerated on drug related charges, was helping lead the protest. She used a speaker system to ask prisoners inside if they had been given blankets or if their toilets were working again. Those inside could be heard banging on their cell windows in response.
At the time of this report, it is unclear exactly when the power system will be restored. The Federal Bureau of Prisons issued a statement explaining that a fire had destroyed an electrical panel inside and therefore made access to the backup generators impossible.
Take a look at footage from this weekend’s protests in the clips below.