June 17, 2024

Philadelphia to pay $2M to woman beaten by officers in front of children

The young mother who was pulled from her car by Philadelphia police and beaten has reached a $2M settlement with the city. 

Rickia Young made a wrong turn in Philadelphia on Oct. 27, 2020 and found herself in the middle of civil unrest due to the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr., theGrio previously reported.

She tried to make a three-point turn near the intersection of 52nd and Chestnut in the city’s West Philadelphia neighborhood, but officers swarmed the vehicle and yanked Young and her 16-year-old nephew out of the car. Her two-year-old son was sleeping in his car seat and woke up to the sound of breaking glass, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The incident was recorded by neighborhood resident April Rice and went viral, showing officers dragging Young and her nephew out of the car, throwing them to the ground, and beating Young with a baton. Young’s face was bruised and bleeding which necessitated medical care. After receiving treatment, she and her nephew were taken into custody but were eventually released without charges.

“Her face was bloodied and she looked like she had been beaten by a bunch of people on the street,” attorney Riley H. Ross III told The Washington Post.

Attorney Kevin Mincey noted that Young phoned her mother while in custody and inquired about her missing son. The boy was found hours later in the back of a police car. 

During the time that Young and her son were separated, the National Fraternal Order of Police posted a story and photo of a white female police officer holding the toddler, along with a caption that the boy was found alone on the street.

“This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness,” the caption read. “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.”

The post was removed the same day after the real story of the circumstances around the child being detained by police went public.   

“It’s propaganda,” Ross III told The Post at the time. “Using this kid in a way to say, ‘This kid was in danger and the police were only there to save him,’ when the police actually caused the danger. That little boy is terrified because of what the police did.” 

The city of Philadelphia said Monday that it will pay Young $2M after reaching an agreement with her lawyers.  

Rickia Young Philadelphia thegrio.com
Rickia Young (Credit: screenshot)

An officer and a sergeant were fired earlier this year over their treatment of Young during the incident, a city spokesperson 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,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement, NBC News reports.

“As a matter of fact, the ability for officers and supervisors on the scene to diffuse the situation was abandoned, 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.”

This story contains additional reporting from Keydra Manns and Stephanie Guerilus.

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