Fired Philadelphia Cop Charged with Assaulting Mom During Unrest in 2020

A fired Philadelphia police officer is facing charges for the assault of Rickia Young in front of her 2-year-old son during civil unrest in October 2020, the District Attorney's Office said.

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Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced the arrest of a fired city police officer for allegedly assaulting a woman in front of her toddler in October 2020.

Darren Kardos, 42, has been arrested and charged, Krasner said Thursday. Kardos was suspended soon after the incident and later fired. He served seven years on the Philadelphia police force and was assigned to the 19th District. Another officer was also fired in relation to the incident.

Rickia Young, a home health care aide, was beaten by police in front of her 2-year-old son while she was trying to pick up her nephew during civil unrest in West Philadelphia.

In a press conference last year, Young said, “I hope that the officers responsible will never have the chance to do something like this to another person ever again."

Around 1 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2020, Young and her 2-year-old son were in her car picking up her 16-year-old nephew in West Philadelphia. Young was trying to get the teen out of the area during the second day of protests over the deadly police shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. 

Young tried to take her usual route home from West Philly when she encountered protests and police officers at the intersection of 52nd and Chestnut streets.

Officers ordered Young to back up and make a U-turn. She began to make the turn when several officers ran towards her SUV, hitting and rocking it, and attempting to pull the door open.

Young was driving slowly, Krasner said, when Kardos allegedly began breaking the windows with his metal baton.

Kardos is accused of pulling Young out of the SUV by her hair, the PPD Internal Affairs and District Attorney's Office Special Investigations Unit investigation revealed.

Krasner says Young was then hit by fists, batons and a number of other unknown objects. Young was also sprayed with mace, Krasner said. Young's attorney Kevin Mincey stated she had swelling on her face and body, a swollen trachea and was bleeding.

In his official statement, according to the district attorney, Kardos made claims about Young's actions that were not corroborated by video evidence.

Kardos is facing aggravated assault, criminal mischief and other related charges.

After the beating occurred, Young was arrested and separated from her toddler for hours. The incident was captured on video from a nearby rooftop and immediately went viral, making national news.

The National Fraternal Order of Police created a viral Facebook post that later spread to other police social media pages. The post, since removed, showed a female officer holding Young's son, who was characterized as a child officers found abandoned and barefoot during "complete lawlessness" on the street. District Attorney Krasner was critical of the FOP, saying the post mischaracterized the incident.

“The FOP all but accused Young of abandoning her child amid a violent situation when the truth is far from that," Krasner said Thursday. “To put it mildly, this is shameful. And it is despicable. And it is stepping on people to play politics with human lives.”

Last year, the City of Philadelphia said they would pay Young $2 million in damages.

The next court date for Kardos is scheduled for April 29.

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