An unidentified New York woman is suing the New York Police Department for reportedly keeping her handcuffed while delivering her daughter.
The 27-year-old woman, who was 40 weeks pregnant, was in a police holding cell in the Bronx when she went into labor in February.
According to The New York Times, officers took her to Montefiore Medical Center and handcuffed her wrists and shackled her ankles to the hospital bed, citing the procedure according to NYPD’s Patrol Guide.
Despite doctors warning the officers that the restraints were illegal, she remained cuffed while she struggled in labor for at least an hour.
The lawsuit alleges that 10 minutes before she gave birth, police unshackled her ankles and freed one hand.
After giving birth just after 6 a.m., her feet were once again shackled back together. One of her hands remained free to feed the baby, according to NBC News.
She remained restrained until her arraignment later that afternoon.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for a violation of civil rights and to have the NYPD change their policy to prevent pregnant women from being shackled in the future.
The unnamed woman asked for anonymity because she said that she was traumatized and is unable to tell her family about the incident.
In an affidavit obtained by The New York Times, she said, “I haven’t made sense of it myself, and I’m not ready to explain it to my child.”
The NYPD has not yet responded to the lawsuit, according to The Times.
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