Indiana governor says passing hate crime law ‘long overdue’

INDIANAPOLIS – The spray-painting of a swastika outside a suburban Indianapolis synagogue this summer was the final straw for Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who quickly called for Indiana to join the 45 states that have hate crime laws. "It's not only the right thing to do, it's long overdue" Holcomb said Friday during an interview … Continue reading “Indiana governor says passing hate crime law ‘long overdue’”

INDIANAPOLIS – The spray-painting of a swastika outside a suburban Indianapolis synagogue this summer was the final straw for Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who quickly called for Indiana to join the 45 states that have hate crime laws.

"It's not only the right thing to do, it's long overdue" Holcomb said Friday during an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm convinced the overwhelming majority of Hoosiers feel the same way."

As the annual legislative session draws near, though, some warn that such a proposal could spark a bitter cultural debate that would bring unwanted attention to the deeply conservative state, much like the 2015 religious objections law that critics widely panned as a sanctioning of discrimination against the LGBT community and that drew a stiff rebuke from big business.

"If this is a big, knock-down, drag out, 'RFRA-esque' discussion, it is not going to help anyone," said House Speaker Brian Bosma, using an acronym for 2015's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law by Vice President Mike Pence when he was Indiana governor. "We need to do it in such a way that's not a net negative and brings undue attention to our state."

Bosma would know. The Indianapolis Republican helped shepherd a bill to "fix" the law through the Statehouse — steps that were taken only after businesses protested, groups vowed a boycott and the state was lampooned on late-night TV.

An overwhelming majority of states have hate crime laws, which vary to some degree but generally allow for stiffer sentences to be given to people who are convicted of crimes motivated by hatred or bias. Only Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Wyoming and Arkansas do not.

What remains to be seen is what sort of law might be palatable to Indiana legislators — whether it would be open-ended and general or whether it would specify characteristics that would be covered, such as race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, which is what Holcomb wants.

While many business leaders support the governor's call for a hate crime law and view the absence of one as a sign of intolerance, many religious conservatives, including some rank-and-file legislators, see it as an unnecessary exercise that could lead to other unwanted social changes.

For years, they've stymied efforts to put a hate crime law on the books, arguing that judges can already consider factors such as bias when determining sentences.

"Nobody is for hate crime, but it's a Pandora's box," said Ron Johnson, who leads the Indiana Pastors Alliance and believes Christians are persecuted by gay rights supporters. "It opens the door to all the rest of this craziness that we are seeing."

Some conservatives argue that adopting a hate crime law would create a "protected" class of citizen and grant additional acceptance to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Another common refrain among lawmakers who oppose the idea is that it would target "thought crime." All crimes are bad, they say, regardless of what motivates them.

Holcomb says "nothing could be further from the truth."

"You want to have a moronic thought … that's your right," he said. "But when it becomes a criminal action, you've crossed the line."

For those who have received intimidating threats driven by hatred or bias, the issue is far less abstract than many critics portray.

Across the U.S., the number of reported hate crimes increased by about 17 percent in 2017, according to the FBI. In Indiana, the number has fluctuated in recent decades, ranging from about 40 to over 100 crimes per year that would fit the description.

But those figures depend on how law enforcement agencies categorize crime, which can be subjective, and how many of them report their statistics to the FBI, which can fluctuate.

Indiana has a complicated history when it comes to prejudice and bigotry. The state was a stop along the Underground Railroad, but in the 1920s, local politics was dominated by the Ku Klux Klan, with some estimates indicating that one-quarter of the native-born white men were members.

In the 1960s, Indiana-born author and diplomat John Bartlow Martin described the state in a memo to Robert Kennedy as "suspicious of foreign entanglements, conservative in fiscal matters, and with a strong overlay of Southern segregationist sentiment," according to Indiana historian Ray Boomhower.

Aside from the synagogue vandalism that prompted Holcomb to publicly call for a hate crime law, activists say graffiti swastikas have been appearing in more public places. Last year, a man pleaded guilty to battery after authorities say he attacked a woman in Bloomington while shouting racial slurs and trying to remove her headscarf.

And Matthew Heimbach, of Paoli, has become a prominent figure in the white nationalist movement, once spearheading a group that described itself as "fighting to secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

David Sklar, assistant director of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, said the only reason anyone should worry about a hate crime law "is if you are a criminal."

"Will passing a hate crime statute ultimately stop a hate crime from happening? Chances are probably not," Sklar said. "But it is equally important to make sure that a person receives the right amount of jail time and for the state to say, 'We will not tolerate these things and we will make our laws reflect that.'"

Woman convicted of plotting with lover to kill husband, collect $1.75 million life insurance benefits

A Florida woman has been convicted of conspiring with her lover to kill her husband—18 years after he disappeared and she collected $1.75 million in life insurance benefits when his death was ruled an accident.

Denise Williams, 48, reportedly showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered Friday in Leon County after a week-long trial that included details of threesomes and drew comparisons to the film noir classic “Double Indemnity.”

She now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison after being found guilty of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of her 31-year-old husband, Mike Williams, who vanished Dec. 16, 2000 on a duck hunting trip.

“We got justice for Michael,” the victim’s mother said to prosecutor Jon Fuchs, the Tallahassee Democrat reported Friday.

Denise Williams listens during her trial for the murder of her husband Mike Williams, in Tallahassee, Florida. ((Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat via AP, Pool)

Cheryl Williams refused to believe her son drowned and was eaten by alligators, the newspaper reported.

THREESOME TWIST REVEALED DURING TESTIMONY IN DENISE WILLIAMS MURDER TRIAL

Prosecutors said Denise Williams hatched the murder plot with a man who was her husband’s best friend — and her lover, Brian Winchester.

He became the prosecution’s star witness, testifying that they killed Michael Williams so they could be together and collect on life insurance policies by making the murder look like an accident, according to the reports.

Winchester sold Mike Williams one of those policies, worth $1 million.

Winchester told the jury that plans to make the murder look like a drowning went awry when Michael Williams’ duck-hunting equipment failed to drag him underwater.

He testified that he wound up shooting Michael Williams in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun and then burying the body near a lake, according to reports.

The New York Post reported that Winchester and Denise Willaims carried on their secret relationship until 2005 when they married.

FLORIDA WOMAN ACCUSED OF PLOTTING HUSBAND'S DEATH, MARRYING KILLER STANDS TRIAL

But 11 years later they divorced and soon after he was arrested for kidnapping Denise Williams at gunpoint to convince her not to turn him in to police, according to the paper.

Eventually, he confessed to killing Michael Williams in exchange for immunity and led authorities to the body.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Disney Channel actor dropped from show after allegedly arranged to meet with minor: report

A Disney Channel actor who was arrested Friday on suspicion of arranging to meet up with a 13-year-old he met on a dating app for sexual encounters has been dropped by the network, reports said.

Stoney Westmoreland, 48, faces four counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor and one count of enticing a minor by internet or test, all felonies, FOX 13 Salt Lake City reported.

Westmoreland began chatting with a person he believed to be 13-years-old on an app used for "dating and meeting people for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity," according to a probable cause affidavit.

He allegedly sent the teen pornographic photos and asked the teen to engage in sexual activity and to send him nude photos, according to TMZ.

Salt Lake City police arrested the actor when he allegedly used a ride-sharing service to pick up the child, with the intention of taking him to his hotel room, the affidavit said.

Westmoreland is known for his recurring role as Henry "Ham" Mack in the Disney kids show “Andi Mack.” The show is shot in multiple locations throughout Utah.

He has also appeared in episodes of TV shows like "Scandal," "Breaking Bad," "Better Call Saul" and "NCIS."

In a statement to Fox News on Saturday, a Disney spokesperson said Westmoreland had been released from his role.

"Given the nature of the charges and our responsibility for the welfare of employed minors, we have released him from his recurring role and he will not be returning to work on the series which wraps production on its third season next week," the statement read.

Richard Matt’s daughter recalls Dannemora prison break in new doc: ‘That son of a gun actually did it’

Jamie Scalise said she finally feels ready to come forward about the brief relationship she had with her father Richard Matt, a vicious killer who escaped prison only to meet a grim demise.

The 29-year-old is participating in Oxygen’s new special, “Dannemora Prison Break,” which delves into the shocking story of two homicidal inmates breaking out of a maximum-security prison in the sleepy town of Dannemora, N.Y.

The two-hour documentary features interviews with former guards and family members of the pair, among others.

Killers Matt, 49, and David Sweat, now 38, famously escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in 2015 by using power tools to saw through a steel cell wall and several steel steam pipes. They bashed a hole through a 2-foot brick wall and squirmed through pipes to escape.

The prison break also inspired a seven-part TV series that aired in November on Showtime titled “Escape at Dannemora,” which was filmed on location. It starred Paul Dano and Benicio Del Toro as Matt.

Matt was behind bars for beating, torturing, killing and dismembering his elderly boss during a dispute over money in 1997, the New York Daily News reported. He was serving 25 years to life.

Scalise told Fox News she has little memories of Matt from her childhood. “I have one memory of him taking me out of a bath as a child,” said Scalise. “He wasn’t around as I got older.”

Matt initially attempted to reach out to Scalise when she was 14 years old by writing the teenager a letter. However, she wasn’t ready to address his pleads to bond with her.

“As much as it wanted to tug at my heartstrings, it just didn’t do that for me,” said Scalise. “I handed the letter back to my mom. I really wasn’t ready to dive into that. And she didn’t really want me to embrace it either. So we tuck it away for a number of years.”

Richard Matt holding Jamie Scalise when she was an infant. (Courtesy of Jamie Scalise)

It wasn’t until 2011 when Scalise received another letter from Matt — and this time she was ready to respond.

“I was older and I had been on my own for several years now,” she explained. “I got married when I was 19. I was just ready to explore this person and stop ignoring it. I was ready to embrace that part of my life at 21.”

And once Scalise responded, a friendship between father and daughter blossomed through letters.

“As soon as I sent one letter out to him, he got around and immediately send me another," Scalise recalled. "We wrote with extreme frequency for the first year at least. He contacted me through that first letter in January. And by July we had planned our first visit.”

Scalise, who by then had developed a strong bond with Matt, was compelled to visit him in prison.

Jamie Scalise with her father, Richard Matt, during her first visit with him at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY. — Courtesy of Jamie Scalise

“I had plenty of questions naturally,” she explained. “He told me if I ever had questions, he would answer them all. And honestly, I had some respect for that. He knew that if he lied to me, and I got wind of it somehow, it would ruin this relationship that he’s wanted for all these years. So I felt like I could talk to him about anything.

"[And] it really was the father-daughter relationship I had longed for — for years. It was dysfunctional the way that it happened, but it just felt very natural once we started writing back and forth. Nothing felt forced. We never ran out of things to talk about. … We just kept staring at each other. He hadn’t seen me since I was a baby. And I had no recollection of him."

For about three years Scalise, a self-employed hairdresser, would make the seven-hour drive twice a year to see her father. The letters continued with great speed. It didn’t take long for Matt to reveal his dreams of freedom.

When asked if Matt ever brought up the idea of escaping, Scalise quickly responded, “all the time.”

“He talked about getting out as if it were a for-sure thing,” she explained. “He wasn’t going to die in there an old man. He was going to get out somehow. He talked about how, one way or another, he was getting out of there and referenced escaping often.

A law enforcement officer stands on a road and looks into the forest near Dannemora, N.Y., Friday, June 12, 2015.  (AP)

“I would just brush it off as standard prison fantasies that I’m sure every guy sitting in there had wished about late in their bunk at night. I never in a million years thought that anything would come from it. It just seemed impossible.”

However, Matt was serious. And on the morning of June 6, 2015, New York State Police revealed Matt and Sweat were missing during the morning count.

Authorities said the men had filled their beds in their adjacent cells with clothes to make it appear they were sleeping when guards made overnight rounds. On a cut steam pipe, the prisoners left a taunting note that read “Have a nice day.”

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said they apparently used tools stored by prison contractors, taking care to return them to their toolboxes after each night’s work.

Prosecutors said Joyce Mitchell, a prison tailoring shop instructor who got close to the men while working with them, had agreed to be their getaway driver but backed out because she felt guilty for participating.

Joyce Mitchell — AP

During that morning, Scalise was grooming a bridal party. Her phone suddenly started ringing and it refused to stop.

“I had a 2-year-old daughter,” said Scalise. “So I’m thinking the worst. I thought something happened to the baby. I saw my husband had called. I went to call him back, but when I picked up the phone, my mom was calling. So I answered my mom first. She had panic in her voice. She said, ‘Rick escaped. Lock your doors.’ It sounded like a joke. But when I heard that panic and fear in my mother’s voice, I knew it was real… I couldn’t believe what was happening. That son of a gun actually did it.”

Scalise said she tried not to get herself worked up because just a few days before she had learned a second baby was on the way. However, she found herself surrounded by reporters, who camped right outside her home. She was on 24-hour surveillance and two officers would rotate shifts to watch her every move. Wherever she went, three cars followed. A helicopter hovered over her property. Scalise's phone was also tapped and every piece of mail was reviewed. Still, Scalise stressed she was fully compliant because there was nothing to hide.

Two days after the escape, Scalise received a letter from Matt. It was dated June 1. It would be the last letter she would ever receive from her father.

“It’s eerie,” she said. “It did foreshadow that something was going to happen. But it didn’t detail it in any way, shape or form about an actual escape by any means. But he would say things like, ‘I gave you my word that someday I will see you outside these walls… When I give my word, I mean it. And always know that wherever I am, I will always love you.’

This photo provided by New York State Governor’s office shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo on a catwalk looking into the cell that inmates escaped from at a maximum-security prison near the Canadian border in Dannemora, N.Y. (AP)

“It sounded like somebody was going to be leaving or, worst case scenario, someone was contemplating suicide… I knew my dad struggled. He did have depression. And you could see that reflected in some of his letters. But then he would always bounce back.”

The manhunt lasted for three weeks and ended when Matt was killed in a shootout with police. Sweat was captured near the Canadian border.

Scalise recently penned a memoir detailing her experience, a move she described as "therapeutic." But even after opening up, there’s one thought that still lingers.

“I just wish I could have written him more to keep him in tune with our lives and what we were doing,” she said. "[But] I think we understood that we cared and loved each other.”

Scalise emphasized that she in no way justified Matt’s wrongdoings. However, she hopes her story will help others understand why she attempted to befriend the killer.

Jamie Scalise today. — Courtesy of Jamie Scalise

“We were moving on with our lives in the outside world, but he was just stagnant,” she said. “I guess he had other plans.”

“Dannemora Prison Break” premieres Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. on Oxygen. Fox News' Rick Leventhal, Matt Dean, Ron Ralston and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

American tourist may have been killed by multiple people in Costa Rica, report says

There may be additional suspects in the murder of a Florida tourist in Costa Rica.

Forensic examination results reveal that up to three or four more people may be involved in the slaying of 36-year-old Carla Stefaniak, of Miami, whose body was discovered earlier this month inside a shallow grave in a mountainous area behind the San Jose Airbnb where she was staying, Q Costa Rica reported.

Stefaniak’s loved ones shared a link to the report in a Thursday night post to the Facebook page, “Finding Carla.”

The Judicial Investigation Agency of Costa Rica told Telemundo 51 that all the information on the case is “confidential” and that the investigation is ongoing.

So far, only Bismark Espinosa Martinez, a security guard at the Airbnb where Stefaniak had been staying, has been arrested in connection with the case.

Local authorities have said the slaying was sexually motivated.

Read more at the New York Post.

The Latest: Police say woman’s long absence is ‘suspicious’

DENVER – The Latest on a police investigation into a Colorado woman's disappearance (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

The police official leading the search for a missing Colorado woman says her disappearance is suspicious and urged the woman's fiance to talk with investigators "face to face."

Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said Friday that police are considering "every possibility" but declined to label Kelsey Berreth's fiance as a suspect or a person of interest in the case.

He told reporters that Patrick Frazee has communicated with police through an attorney and asked the man to speak directly with investigators.

De Young's comments came several hours after police began searching Frazee's property, located two hours south of Denver.

Berreth was last seen Thanksgiving Day. An investigation into the 29-year-old's disappearance began Dec. 2.

De Young said investigators are confident Berreth is not intentionally avoiding their efforts to find her.

___

11:50 a.m.

An attorney for a man engaged to a missing Colorado woman says his client is cooperating with investigators as they search the fiance's property.

Patrick Frazee's attorney, Jeremy Loew, said in a statement that police didn't ask his client to participate in the search Friday of the property, located about two hours south of Denver.

Loew said Frazee wants police to "take whatever steps" necessary to find 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth and exclude him as a suspect in her disappearance.

Berreth was last seen Thanksgiving Day. An investigation began Dec. 2 after Berreth's mother asked police to check on her daughter.

Loew has previously said Frazee provided police with DNA samples and access to his cellphone.

___

10:10 a.m.

Colorado police say they are searching the property of a missing woman's fiance.

The search of Patrick Frazee's Florissant property began Friday morning, about three weeks after 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth was last seen.

Police have not released any information about the purpose of Friday's search.

Frazee has not been named as a suspect in Berreth's disappearance.

The Woodland Park Police Department is leading the investigation with help from state and federal authorities and scheduled a Friday afternoon update on the case.

Teller County Sheriff spokesman Commander Greg Couch said Frazee was on the property when investigators arrived. Couch says Frazee was not arrested.

Frazee's attorney said Wednesday that he is cooperating with police and has provided cheek swabs for DNA, and his cellphone.

Sheriff disputes injuries black man suffered in beating

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – A Tennessee sheriff's office is disputing the extent of the injuries suffered by a black man beaten by a white officer while handcuffed earlier this month.

An attorney for 25-year-old Charles Toney said in a phone interview Friday that hospital records prove Toney suffered a collapsed lung and fractured ribs, nose and finger during his arrest on an outstanding warrant on Dec. 3.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Thursday that medical staff who checked Toney after his arrest found none of the injuries described by Toney's attorney, Lee Merritt.

Video taken by a bystander shows Hamilton County Detective Blake Kilpatrick punching and kicking Toney while he is handcuffed and on the ground. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating.

The arrest report says Kilpatrick struck Toney because he was uncooperative and bit the officers' finger. Merritt says those allegations are false and has called on the district attorney to drop assault and resisting-arrest charges against Toney.

A copy of the jail's medical intake form lists no injuries other than "swelling in mouth, jaw or neck." Under a section on lesions, bruises and scars, the medic wrote "WNL" for "within normal limits."

Toney's mugshot, taken at roughly the same time, shows blood and scratches in several places on his face.

On Friday, Merritt told The Associated Press that the intake form shows that the jail medical staff did not do a thorough evaluation of Toney's injuries, not that he wasn't injured. Toney was released within hours of his arrest after posting bond and went to the hospital the next day, Merritt said.

Kilpatrick is on desk duty while the incident is under investigation.

____

This story has been corrected to show that Toney's attorney says his client suffered one fractured finger, not multiple fractured fingers.

Deacon removed from ministry after calling for investigation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A deacon who has questioned the thoroughness of a recently published list of Tennessee priests accused of sexual abuse has been removed from ministry at his local parish.

Nashville Deacon Ron Deal confirmed Friday he has been instructed not to minister at the Brentwood parish until his "public disagreement" with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville diocese is resolved. The Nov. 30 letter was sent from Deal's church pastor, Rev. Joe McMahon.

Deal is one of the many victim advocates who have called for an independent investigation after the diocese earlier this year published the names of 13 priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

"My question to them is how do you propose ending it?" Deal said in a telephone interview. "I would love to find a way to keep this issue front and center, but I'm not sure how we make that (resolution) happen if it doesn't involve speaking openly."

Diocese spokesman Rick Musacchio says Deal has not been suspended and he continues to receive a stipend, but says a resolution could be reached if Deal stops publicly criticizing the church.

"The pastor has asked him to resolve the issue," Musacchio said in a telephone interview. "It's fair to say the public statements are tending to cause the confusion."

Deal was one of the speakers at a November press conference calling for an independent investigation and he has since asked state lawmakers to look into the issue.

The names released in November included priests who served from the 1940s to the 1990s. The list did not include information about when church leaders were made aware of the allegations or estimates of the total number of victims.

However, the quality of the diocese's investigation was called into question by critics when the list was quickly amended after Deal and others pointed out names were missing when it was first shared. When it was eventually published, one of the priest's names was listed as dead when he was really alive.

Deal says the church's initial mistakes with releasing the list proves his calls for an independent investigation are warranted. To date, no law enforcement agency has done so in Tennessee, though Deal has maintained contact with the state's attorney general, U.S. attorneys and district attorneys.

The investigation comes on the heels of a grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania that concluded more than 1,000 children had been abused over a span of decades by about 300 priests. This has led for calls for more independent investigations across the country.

Musacchio says the Nashville diocese is ready to cooperate with any investigation, should one be launched.

"What does it say about transparency and openness when a deacon is removed for trying to assure that the whole truth is coming out from the diocese?" says Susan Vance, one of the leaders of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests of Tennessee. "We have many problems with the dioceses of Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis."

Family says woman was left for dead on first date, files wrongful death suit against man: report

The family of a Florida woman that claims she was left for dead after falling off a motorcycle during a first date filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Friday against the New York man she apparently met on Tinder, reports said Friday.

Jennifer St. Clair, 33, went on a date with Miles McChesney, 34, after meeting on the Tinder dating app, according to the family's lawsuit. They claim he was negligent in her death.

Todd Falzone, the family's attorney, said Friday that McChesney, of Schenectady, N.Y., was visiting a cousin in Fort Lauderdale when he met St. Clair, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

McChesney rode a 2001 Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle while they were on their date in Delray Beach, the suit read. The pair met with two other couples and visited a few bars in the area, the suit said. The suit claims that McChesney "drank alcohol to the point where he became impaired."

The suit claims that at one point during the date, McChesney, while impaired, "carelessly and negligently operated, controlled and/or maintained" the motorcycle so as to cause St. Clair to be "expelled from said motorcycle into oncoming traffic" on Interstate 95.

"After stopping briefly, but rendering no aid or assistance to Jennifer St. Clair, Defendant, Miles McChesney left the scene," the lawsuit said.

FAMILY OF FLORIDA WOMAN WHO DIED ON FIRST DATE CLAIM SHE WAS LEFT FOR DEAD ON INTERSTATE: REPORT

Falzone told The Sun-Sentinel that the woman could have been hit by as many as nine vehicles.

Some witnesses said they saw a man on a motorcycle standing near the victim's body and then took off, The Miami Herald reported. That storyline matches what authorities said, according to the family.

St. Clair was found dead last Friday around 3 a.m.

Florida Highway Patrol officials said St. Clair's death is being investigated as a traffic homicide, The Herald reported.

The lawsuit is seeking $15,000 in damages from McChesney, Miami's WPLG-TV reported.

McChesney's lawyer released a brief statement to the station.

"I am representing Myles McChesney in regards to an Florida Highway Patrol Investigation. This is a very tragic event. And this is all I am going to say about it at this time," Russell Cormican said.

St. Clair worked as a server in restaurants and lived in Fort Lauderdale with her parents, The Sun-Sentinel reported. Pompano Beach, where her body was found, is about 11 miles north of Fort Lauderdale.

“She was surrounded by a big family who loves her so much,” aunt Amy Gamber told the paper of her niece. “We’re still trying to process all of this.”

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

Police say video of toddler yanked from mom not whole story

NEW YORK – The New York City police commissioner said Friday that a more complicated and "chaotic" story is emerging from a witness video that went viral showing a tug-of-war between a New York mother with a toddler and police yanking the boy from her.

Police said an internal review found that Jazmine Headley had used the child as a shield to avoid arrest on Dec. 7 at a Brooklyn social services office.

According to the review — based on information from witnesses and officers at the scene with body cameras — the 23-year-old woman became verbally abusive and bit the arm of a security employee at the Human Resources Administration who tried to remove her after she sat on the floor, blocking others. She then took the child from his stroller and refused to budge, flailing when approached, witnesses cited in the review said.

The Internal Affairs Bureau said two police officers were trying to calm the situation but failed, finally taking the child. They remain on active duty.

Witnesses later told police that it was two city security officers who first escalated the confrontation with the woman. They're on modified duty.

"This incident was chaotic and difficult to watch, and clearly something went wrong," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said Friday. "The NYPD has conducted a strenuous review of what happened, because the public deserves answers, and we must take every opportunity to continuously strengthen how the NYPD serves the people of New York City."

In the wake of this incident, the commissioner said the department is looking to improve both its own procedures and coordination with fellow city agencies.