Yandy Smith-Harris participated in a protest in New York City denouncing the living conditions imposed on inmates. The Love & Hip Hop star took on a role of leadership during the event and eventually got pepper sprayed and “thrown on the floor” by guards.
On Sunday, February 3, Yandy led a rally outside of Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, where her husband Mendeecess Harris is currently held. The institution’s inmates are said to have been living without heat and electricity for days. The detained are said to have been peeing in bottles and using them as a source of warmth. She communicated with the prisoners through a speaker system to asked whether blankets were handed out to them and if their toilets were functional yet. The response her words prompted was delivered through banging against the facility’s windows.
Moments later, protesters rushed the building, demanding to see their loved ones. Yandy, along with the crowd, were pushed back by guards who pepper sprayed them from inside the detention center.
The protests were ongoing at least since Saturday, initiated by concerned families. They were urging the center to provide supplies for the prisoners in addition to taking action towards the restoration of the electrical system. The Federal Bureau of Prisons claims the electrical panel system had been destroyed by fire and access to the generator was impossible at the time. Light reportedly returned Saturday evening.