Courtesy Sanford Rubenstein(NEW YORK) — BY: CHRISTINA CARREGAA New York City mom who believes she was wrongfully arrested for not properly wearing a face mask while on the subway platform, intends to file a $10 million notice of claim against the city for excessive force, her attorney says.Kaleemah Rozier, 22, said she was on her way home with her 5-year-old son inside the Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center station in Brooklyn on May 13 when she was approached by several unidentified NYPD officers. “I just want justice,” said Rozier to ABC News on Wednesday in a phone interview.Police said Rozier was not properly wearing a face mask over her mouth and nose. When she was asked to comply with the orders or get “ejected from the station,” Rozier allegedly refused and cursed at the officers, a NYPD spokeswoman said.Wearing a face mask while in public is a recommendation given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but has been mandatory in New York state, when unable to stay at least six feet from others, since April, including on public transportation.A bystander began recording the incident as the crowd of officers escorted Rozier and her little boy up the stairs of the subway station.Police told ABC New York station WABC after the arrest that Rozier threatened to cough on the officers, but authorities did not mention that element of the case in their statement to ABC News on Wednesday. Rozier reportedly told the New York Daily News that she made the threat, but said it was only after police started following her through the station.While on the upper level of the station, the encounter quickly escalated as Rozier’s son was “pulled away from her” and she was forced to the floor and an officer placed a knee on the back of her neck, according to the notice of claim provided to ABC News and expected to be filed on Thursday morning.“Do not do this in front of your kid mam,” an officer allegedly told Rozier.Rozier, 22, who claims she was not resisting, said she was “pushed in the back of her head and neck to the ground, had her arm pulled and twisted, had a knee pressed in the back of her neck and forcefully placed in handcuffs” by at least six police officers, the notice of claim read.According to the notice of claim, some of Rozier’s injuries are “to the neck, back, left wrist, right wrist, left hip, left knee.”Police said in their statement that Rozier “waived her arms and struck an officer with her hand. As a result of these actions, she was taken into custody and placed under arrest.”The 2-minute video of Rozier’s confrontation with police and subsequent arrest was later posted on social media.Shortly after Rozier’s arrest, Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the incident as “just not right” during a news conference and announced NYPD officers were no longer allowed to arrest anyone who was not wearing a protective face mask.However, “that doesn’t undue the physical and psychological injuries suffered by this mother and her 5-year-old son as the result of the actions taken by these NYPD officers,” said Sanford Rubenstein, an attorney for Rozier.Rozier said her son has had trouble sleeping since the incident.“No amount of money can substitute the psychological damage a 5-year-old child has suffered by watching his mother get brutalized by the NYPD,” Rev. Kevin McCall, a civil rights activist, said in a statement.Rozier was separated from her son and held in a cell for about four hours before she was given a desk appearance ticket for three misdemeanors — resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and harassment — and released, according to the notice of claim. She currently has no court date scheduled.“We will review the claim once it is received,” said Hazel Crampton-Hays, a spokeswoman with the city’s Comptroller’s Office.The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office “is looking into dismissing the charges,” said Oren Yaniv, a spokesman for the office.The Civilian Complaint Review Board received three complaints stemming from this incident, a spokesman confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday.Prior to Rozier’s arrest, data released by the Brooklyn DA’s office and collected by ABC News from other borough’s DA’s offices showed that between March 16 and May 5, the NYPD arrested and issued summonses to mostly blacks and Latinos, for allegedly violating social distancing and other violations. Of the 374 summonses issued during that time frame, 193 are African American, 111 are Hispanic, 51 are white, 14 are Asian and three are American Indian.The city spent $220.1 million in notice of claims settlements filed against the NYPD during the 2019 fiscal year, according to the comptroller’s annual report released last Friday.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
A conditional approval has now been granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Mayor and Town Council of Lethem in Region Nine in regard to the site for its sanitary landfill, as this municipality aims for improved solid waste management within the town.Land cleared for the landfill in LethemAccording to the Department of Public information, following an intervention by the Ministry of Communities to assist the town of Lethem, a service contract to the tune of $36.3 million was awarded to International Imports and Exports to manage the town’s solid waste for 18 months.Lethem Mayor Kerry Jarvis has applauded the initiative, since the past state of the site has affected the health and well-being of the residents. The Mayor noted that, being a new town, Lethem will be able to overcome its solid waste management issues with the help of the Communities Ministry.The contractor began operating on the site back in March of this year, and the state of the site has now been transformed. All the waste has been removed, and is now under control.A team of engineers from the Ministry of Communities on Thursday visited the site and expressed satisfaction at its current state. Senior Engineer attached to the Sanitation Management Unit, Satro Nauth, has said that when the contract comes to an end, the site is expected to be developed into a sanitary landfill facility similar to the sites in Linden, Region Ten; Mahdia, Region Eight; and Bartica, Region Seven.“The site has gotten conditional approval from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). We did some groundwork for the development of a sanitary facility, so we are running the service contract and our intention is to develop it into a sanitary facility,” Nauth said.He also said, “The contractor is responsible for providing a machine to accept the waste, compact the waste, and cover the waste at the end of the day. He has been doing a good job so far (in) maintaining the site, keeping record of the amount of waste that comes, and who disposes of the waste.”Back in August of 2017, the Ministry of Communities signed a contract for the design and construction of sanitary landfill sites for the municipalities of Linden, Mahdia and Bartica. The project was aimed at safeguarding the well-being of the residents of those communities while simultaneously providing modern waste disposal facilities which would be environmental friendly.