Rickia Young, a mother who was dragged from her car and beaten by Philadelphia police in front of her baby, has reached a $2 million settlement agreement with the city.
Young inadvertently drove into a protest in October 2020 over the police killing of Walter Wallace, Jr. She realized her mistake and tried to U-turn and leave the scene. But more than a dozen police officers set upon the vehicle, busting in her car windows and dragging Young and her 16-year-old nephew from the car.
In a viral video captured by onlookers, the officers beat the woman and young teen with batons, leaving them bloody and injured. They then handcuffed the pair and separated Young from her nephew and her 2-year-old son for hours. Young’s hearing-impared toddler lost his hearing aids in the confusion.
In a since deleted viral social media post by the Fraternal Order of Police, a photo of a Philadelphia officer holding Young’s son, writing that he was: “lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness.”
Young’s lawyers report this is the largest settlement in Philadelphia history for a non-fatal incident. But they say this settlement is not enough for the terror and continued pain this family has endured.
“For them to portray me as this type of mom who didn’t care where her children was while chaos was happening all around was very hurtful,” Young said, according to CBS Philadelphia.
Young and her lawyers say this is not about a monetary settlement. They want the district attorney to file charges against every officer involved in the incident. They’re also suing the National Fraternal Order of Police.
According to The New York Times, Danielle Outlaw, the police commissioner of Philadelphia, said in a statement that the behavior of some officers involved in the event“violated the mission of the Philadelphia Police Department.”
“As a matter of fact, the ability for officers and supervisors on the scene to diffuse the situation was abandoned,” Outlaw said, “and instead of fighting crime and the fear of crime, some of the officers on the scene created an environment that terrorized Rickia Young, her family and other members of the public.”
Internal affairs conducted its own investigation and fired two officers. 14 others await disciplinary proceedings through the department’s Police Board of Inquiry.
“This was nothing more than an attack that would be perpetrated by any random street thug and they should be treated just the same,” Thomas Fitzpatrick one of Young’s attorneys told CBS Philadelphia.
Photo by Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images