Police: Mom Used Infant as Shield During Drug Bust

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(CTNow) — Police arrested an 18-year-old man and his 40-year-old mother Thursday while investigating complaints of drug activity tied to their Grand Street apartment.

Zahrod Jackson fought with detectives when they arrived at 35 Grand St. with a search and seizure warrant. Police said the odor of burnt marijuana was evident.

He was charged with possession of crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine within 1,500 feet of an elementary school, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana within 1500 feet of an elementary school, possession of drug paraphernalia within 1500 feet of a school, risk of injury to a minor and interfering with a search warrant.

His mother, Tanya Jackson, shielded herself from police using a 1-year-old child. Once police took the child from her, Tanya Jackson became combative and refused to be handcuffed, police said.

She was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana within 1500 feet of an elementary school, possession of drug paraphernalia within 1500 feet of a school, risk of injury to a minor and interfering with a search warrant.

Police found crack cocaine, a razor blade with crack cocaine, marijuana, a marijuana smoking pipe, marijuana grinders, packaging materials and a fake soda can that is commonly used to conceal narcotics, police said.

The Department of Children and Families was contacted.

The arrest Thursday wasn’t Zahrod Jackson’s first encounter with Middletown police. He was involved in an incident at Middletown High School on Sept. 3, 2010, in which he was Tasered by a school resource officer after a scuffle over food in the cafeteria. Police at the time said Jackson became combative when police tried to escort him from the cafeteria after a worker accused him of stealing food.

Tanya Jackson has filed a lawsuit over the incident against the city, the board of education and the police department, saying that Zahrod Jackson was detained without probable cause and that the officers used excessive force and cruel and unusual punishment. The lawsuit also says the city and the schools failed to provide adequate training to the school resource officers, and seeks a trial, compensation, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.