Amid the unrest in Philadelphia following Walter Wallace Jr.’s fatal shooting, officers brutally attacked and arrested a Black woman before breaking into her car, and taking her 2-year-old child.
As The Washington Post reported, Rickia Young came across police and protesters on Tuesday (Oct. 27), after she and her son — who she hoped would fall asleep in the car — picked her 16-year-old nephew up from a friend’s house. Before she could make a U-turn, she was surrounded by officers who broke her window and yanked her and her nephew out of the vehicle, leaving her toddler in the back seat.
The officers then reportedly beat Young, detained her and later took her to a nearby hospital as a result of her head injury and other wounds. “Her face was bloodied and she looked like she had been beaten by a bunch of people on the street,” her lawyer Kevin Mincey told The Post.
Young’s nephew was also hurt and according to footage, her son was carried out of the back seat by police officers who proceeded to spread false information.
The police union, Fraternal Order of Police, reported the child “lost” via a post on social media of the Black boy hugging a white officer.
“This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness,” the union said in the now-deleted posts. “The only thing this Philadelphia police officer cared about in that moment was protecting this child.”
“We are not your enemy,” the statement continued. “We are the Thin Blue Line. And WE ARE the only thing standing between Order and Anarchy.”
Young’s attorney hopped on Twitter and spoke to The Post, calling out the union for sharing misinformation. “It’s propaganda,” Riley H. Ross III he told the publication. “Using this kid in a way to say, ‘This kid was in danger, and the police were only there to save him’ when the police actually caused the danger. That little boy is terrified because of what the police did.”
Young was released without charges and reunited with her son after being separated from him for hours.
The Philadelphia Police Department has launched an investigation into the case.