A police union allegedly lied in a pro-cop Facebook that a “lost” black toddler was rescued by Philadelphia cops — when officers had actually smashed in his mother’s SUV and grabbed him during an arrest gone wrong, according to a report Friday.
The national Fraternal Order of Police on Thursday posted what appeared to be a touching photo showing a female Philadelphia police officer embracing the 2-year-old boy along with the cop-boosting backstory as protests raged over the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr., the Washington Post reported.
“This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness,” the union claimed in the since-deleted Facebook post. “The only thing this Philadelphia police officer cared about in that moment was protecting this child.”
But Philly cops had actually smashed the windows of the vehicle driven by the boy’s 28-year-old mother, Rickia Young, while the child was inside Tuesday, lawyers for Young told the paper. The officers allegedly then threw her to the ground and arrested her for charges that were later dropped.
Cops then tried to use the photo to drum up support for police, said Young’s attorney, Riley Ross.
“It’s propaganda,” Ross said. “That little boy is terrified because of what the police did.”
Young, a home health aide, was driving to pick up her nephew at around midnight on Tuesday when she came across a group of protesters clashing with police, the lawyer said.
Officers had just ordered her to turn the car around, when a group of cops surrounded it and shattered its windows, according to video footage reported by the Washington Post.
Young was left with a bloody gash and bruising on her head after police threw her to the ground, according to her lawyers, who are representing her in a civil rights case stemming from the incident.
A now-viral video of the incident shows baton-wielding Philly cops shattering the SUV’s windows and removing the child from the back seat as crowds threw objects at the officers.
Footage of the violent clash was captured by Aapril Rice, who told the Philadelphia Inquirer that watching a police officer take the toddler was “surreal” and “traumatic.”
The Fraternal Order of Police and the Philadelphia Police Department didn’t return the Washington Post’s requests for comment.
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