Rickia Young is suing the National Fraternal Order of Police after the organization used her son in an offensive and misleading social media. Lawyers for Young settled a lawsuit with Philadelphia for injuries she sustained after being beaten by police last October.
Moments after making a wrong turn into the middle of a protest, Young was dragged from her car and beaten by Philadelphia police officers. A photo of her toddler later appeared on the National Fraternal Order of Police’s Facebook page claiming an officer found the young boy abandoned during protests. Except the post was entirely false.
Young’s attorneys say the actions of the Fraternal Order of Police demand accountability.
“Last year, shortly after being hired to represent Miss Young and her son, we made it clear that it was our mission to ensure that all parties would be held responsible for what happened,” said attorney Riley H. Ross, III during a press conference.
Earlier Tuesday, it was announced the city reached a settlement for $2 million with Young for the injuries sustained last October. According to Ross, the settlement awarded Young is one of the largest such awards for a non-fatal police brutality case in the city’s history.
But he says the story doesn’t end there. Young and her attorneys maintain that the post was a part of the FOP’s propaganda war against the movement that has swept the country over the past year.
Attorney Kevin V. Mincey said the post was clearly political and designed to stroke fear, anger, and resentment.
“This lie created by the NFOP is even more disgusting when you consider that it was the NFPO’s rank and file members who caused the chaos that night and essentially kidnapped Miss Young’s son and created the conditions that they characterize as a riot,” said Mincey. “All of this was done one week before a contested national election in order to advance the political interests of the NFOP.”
When political disinformation was spreading like wild fire, the attorneys said the post of Young’s “lost” son was shared hundreds of times within minutes of posting on Facebook.
Young and her attorneys are pursuing damages in the form of compensation for the harm caused and punishment for the actions taken and failure to supervise social media staff.
The post purportedly told the story of a young child being saved by hardworking officers, but in reality, he was a victim of violence at the hands of the Philadelphia police. While the union ultimately deleted the post, Young says the damage was done.
“Our physical injuries may heal, but the pain of seeing those images of my son in the arms of the officer and that horrible caption written to describe that picture may never heal,” she said. “They need to be held responsible.”