Oversight Committee Seeks Answers Regarding Detention of Two Black Mothers on National Mall
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 4, 2020)— Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Committee Member, sent a letter to Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Department of Homeland Security, and Director James Murray, U.S. Secret Service, regarding the concerning detention of India Johnson and Yasmeen Winston on the National Mall.
“We write with urgent concern regarding the detention of India Johnson and Yasmeen Winston on the National Mall by U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division officers on July 30, 2020,” wrote the Members.
According to public reports, a Uniformed Division cruiser deliberately hit the parked car that Ms. Johnson, Ms. Winston, and their infants were sitting in on Constitution Avenue as the women were getting ready to take their children to the National Mall fountains.
The Uniformed Division officers surrounded the car, yelled, pointed handguns at the women, handcuffed both women, and then separated them from their crying infants who were six months old and thirteen months old for approximately 45 minutes. The officers then refused to permit the women to breastfeed their children. Neither woman was read her Miranda rights, and they were told by a bystander that the officers conducted a search of the car without their knowledge or permission.
“If accurate, these reports document an incredibly disturbing incident,” added the Members.
Click here to read today’s letter.