An innocent woman who unknowingly drove into a part of Philadelphia where an anti-police protest was happening was “violently yanked” from her car by officers and suffered “significant” injuries.
She later won a $2 million settlement for those actions.
But now she’s suing the union representing the police officers, two of whom have been fired while another 14 still face disciplinary hearings.
Because without permission, the union used a photograph of her young son to promote its interests, falsely portraying her as a neglectful mother.
The case was profiled by the Foundation for Economic Education.
It was Rickia Young who last year was driving through the city with her two-year-old son and 16-year-old nephew. Inadvertently, she drove into the protest against police, which erupted hours after officers fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr., 27, whose family had called for mental-health help.
She tried to reverse course and drive away but, the report said, she was “violently yanked from the vehicle” by police and beaten, leaving her with “significant” injuries, according to her attorney, Riley Ross.
A local CBS affiliate documented that she was paid a $2 million settlement for the police officers’ actions, and Mayor Jim Kenney stated, “The experience that Rickia Young and others with her went through while driving on October 27, 2020 following the police shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. and unrest was absolutely appalling. This terrible incident, which should have never happened to anyone, only further strained the relationship between the police department and our communities. The officers’ inexcusable actions that evening prompted an immediate and thorough investigation of the incident and for personnel to be disciplined and held accountable for their egregious conduct. I hope that the settlement and investigations into the officers’ actions bring some measure of closure to Ms. Young and her family.”
But at the time, a photo of a police officer holding Young’s 2-year-old went viral. It was posted by the National Fraternal Order of Police with the caption: “This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness. The only thing this Philadelphia Police Officer cared about in that moment was protecting this child. We are not your enemy. We are the Thin Blue Line. And WE ARE the only thing standing between Order and Anarchy.”
Young charged that portrayed her as “this type of mom who didn’t care where her children was while chaos was happening all around was very hurtful.”
She not only has sued the union for damages but is requesting that the district attorney file charges against the officers involved.
“Our physical injuries may heal but the pain of seeing those images of my son in the arms of an officer and the horrible caption written to describe that picture may never heal,” Young said.
Explained FEE, “The post falsely painting Young as a neglectful mother has since been deleted, but not before it was shared over 700 times. Despite already having been paid $2 million by the city for being beaten and separated from her son, Young is seeking an additional $50,000+ from the FOP for the Facebook post. Her complaint accused the union of portraying her son as a ‘neglected and abandoned child’ in order to ‘promote its own political propaganda’ of police as the child’s savior, when in fact they were the ones that separated the child from his mother. Her attorneys claimed that she endured ‘harassment, anxiety, depression and a damaged reputation as a result of the social media post’…”
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