New York police sued for pepper-spraying 5-month-old baby

By David Edwards
Monday, April 1, 2013 15:44 EDT
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File photo of New York City Police officers and a dog standing guard in a subway station  (AFP)
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The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is being sued by a woman who says that officers violated her civil rights when they pepper-sprayed her entire family — including a 2-year-old child and a 5-month-old baby.

In the lawsuit obtained by Courthouse News Service on Monday, Marilyn Taylor accuses Officers Maripily Clase, Suranjit Dey and Jermaine Hodge overacting when they saw her pushing the stroller through a service entrance instead of going through the subway turnstile.

According to the complaint, officers told her 4-year-old child that “everything will be OK,” but then began pepper-spraying the entire family.

“The pepper-spray caused the children to scream out and choked the two-year old, who went into fits of vomiting,” the lawsuit says. “Ms. Taylor was then placed in handcuffs as the minor children cried in fear and pain.”

The next day, the court agreed give Taylor an adjournment in contemplation of a dismissal, allowing the charges to be dropped if she stayed out of trouble.

But things did not turn out as well for the children, who she said continue to need medical attention because of the pepper spray.

“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 lawsuit notes. “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.”

Taylor also claimed that her family has continued to be harassed by officers since the incident, “forcing them to avoid the MTA through the Atlantic Avenue stop.”

“The family seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, assault, battery, negligence, and violations to the state and federal constitutions,” Courthouse News Service reported.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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