April 2, 2013
A mother has sued the New York Police Department for using pepper-spray on her 2-year- and 5-month old babies after cops accused her of turnstile jumping.
Marilyn Taylor filed a lawsuit in federal court against the NYPD and Officers Maripily Clase, Suranjit Dey and Jermaine Hodge, according to Courthouse News Service.
On August 9, according to Taylor, police confronted her as she prepared to board a Manhattan-bound L train. “The aggressiveness of the officers’ demeanors had upset the four-year-old daughter, and her mother bent down to console her and tell her, ‘everything will be OK,” the complaint states.
The police confronted her on suspicion of skipping a fare after they saw Taylor pushing a stroller through a service entrance instead of going through a turnstile.
In response, Officer Dey pepper-sprayed Taylor and her family. “The pepper-spray caused the children to scream out and choked the two-year old, who went into fits of vomiting,” the complaint states. Taylor was knocked to her knees and nearly fell off the subway platform.
The police then arrested Taylor and continued to abuse her. “Ms. Taylor was then placed in handcuffs as the minor children cried in fear and pain.” She claims Officers Hodge and Dey pushed her down the stairway so violently she suffered bruised wrists from the handcuffs and injury to her lower back.
“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 states.
Following the incident, Taylor says police continued to harass her. “Since the incident, plaintiffs have suffered repeated harassment from the officer defendants, forcing them to avoid the MTA through the Atlantic Avenue stop,” according to the complaint.
The Taylor family is seeking punitive damages for civil rights violations, battery, assault, negligence, and violations of the New York State and U.S. Constitution.