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Two Black Moms Demand Answers After Secret Service Rammed Into Their Car, Pulled Guns And Detained Them

Two Black Moms Demand Answers After Secret Service Rammed Into Their Car, Pulled Guns And Detained Them
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Two Black mothers, India Johnson, 26, and Yasmeen Winston, 25, are demanding justice after being wrongfully accosted by the Secret Service while enjoying a relaxing day out with their two infant children.

Johnson and Winston were visiting Washington D.C.'s World War II memorial to take a swim in the fountains with their children.

After taking a dip, the pair were digging through diaper bags in their parked car when a Secret Service vehicle slammed into their bumper, frightening the children and taking the mothers by surprise.

The mothers told The Washington Postthat, moments later, a rifle was aimed at their faces as a Secret Service officers yelled "Get out!" and "Put your hands in the air!"

According to Johnson and Winston, they faced an intense ordeal over the next hour.

The officers, not wearing masks at first, had them handcuffed and separated from their children, who cried in the back of their open-doored car.

Both women feared they might be shot and killed despite having done nothing wrong.

Winston commented:

"I could have been another Breonna Taylor. I could have been another innocent woman who has no record and got shot."

Their attorney, Timothy Maloney, wrote in an open letter to Secret Service Director James Murray:

"This incident took place near our national monuments across from the White House."
"It occurred after eight weeks of unprecedented national demonstrations about excessive police conduct, some of which took place right there on Constitution Avenue."
"Has the Secret Service learned nothing this summer?"

At first, officers told the mothers that their vehicle had been reported stolen and the suspects were two Black men.

Johnson provided proof of her ownership of the vehicle, saying she had filed no such report.

The women also noted there were no Black men present in their party.

The women were released an hour or so later, with no apology or explanation offered. Before they parted ways, however, Winston was sure to collect the names and badge numbers of every officer present.

She later commented:

"I had to stay strong, somebody had to be strong. I wanted to cry, but I'm not going to let them see me cry."
"The fact that our kids had to witness this? Nobody wants to introduce their kids to this."

In his letter to Murray, Maloney wrote:

"These were two young African American mothers with their babies sitting lawfully in a car with D.C. tags."
"Can the Secret Service honestly say it would have treated White out-of-town tourists and their babies, sitting there without District tags, the same way?"

The Secret Service commented it is "looking into the matter" and "has no further comment at this time."

Maloney says he is prepared to push for a Congressional inquiry if the Secret Service isn't forthcoming in their investigations.

Both mothers are now coping with the trauma of their encounter.

"We don't get in trouble. Nothing like this has ever happened to us."
"I thought the police was here to serve and protect us, and now it's really uncomfortable."