The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has agreed to pay a young Black woman $2 million as part of a settlement after she was confronted by police officers, pulled out of her car, and beaten as they took her young son away from her.
Rickia Young, a nurse’s aide, was heading home from work on October 27, 2020, when she ran across a protest organized to demand justice for the killing of Walter Wallace, Jr. by law enforcement. She tried to drive away so she wouldn’t be mistaken for being involved, but officers on the scene stopped her and smashed her window in with batons.
Young was then handcuffed for several hours and separated from her 2-year old son and teenaged nephew who were in the car with her. There were no charges levied against her after the incident. The nation’s largest police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, used a picture of a Philadelphia police officer holding her child in a post on Facebook two days after with the caption: “This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness.” That post was later removed.
A police officer and a sergeant connected to the incident were fired, according to a city spokesperson. Jim Kenney, Philadelphia’s mayor condemned the way Young was treated in a statement about the settlement. “This terrible incident, which should have never happened to anyone, only further strained the relationship between the police and community,” he said. “The behavior that occurred during the interaction between Rickia Young, her nephew, her son, and some of the officers on the scene violated the mission of the Philadelphia Police Department,” said Danielle Outlaw, Philadelphia Police Commissioner in the same statement.
The Fraternal Order of Police and FOP Lodge 5, which represents the Philadelphia police, offered no comment on the announcement.