‘Love and Hip Hop New York’: Yandy Smith Pepper Sprayed During Jail Protest

Love and Hip Hop New York cast member Yandy Smith was pepper sprayed yesterday while protesting in Brooklyn. The reality star tried to help inmates receive heat and electricity. Federal officials stated an electrical fire on January 27 was to blame for the partial power outage still affecting some prisoners.

Love and Hip Hop New York: Yandy Smith Protests for Prisoners

L&HHNY veteran, Yandy Smith, participated in a protest over the weekend. Allegedly, inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn have been going without electricity and warmth. Importantly, the temperatures are currently very cold in the region. 

With lights reportedly out at the prison, inmates were unable to see the labels on their medications according to David Patton, Director of Federal Defenders of New York. Then, Yandy Smith said a prison guard told her the temperature inside the facility was 33 degrees.

There are approximately 1600 people held at the MDC. Allegedly, only small emergency lights were available. In addition, reports say there was no hot water inside the facility for inmate use.

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IM FREEZING BUT THEY ARE IN THERE DYING, inmates in Brooklyn are being denied there basic HUMAN RIGHTS!!!!! The lights are shut off. The toilets are shut off. There’s no hot water and blankets have been refused and turned away by warden Quay. !!! I’m At the federal detention center right here in Brooklyn, where temperatures are BELOW FREEZING, the heat and electricity have been turned off SINCE MONDAY. 1,600 HUMANS are there. That is them, right now, banging and making noises so people outside can hear them. MEN AND WOMEN are getting sick and are freezing. The only thing working since Monday are small emergency lights. This is a gross human rights abuse. One guard just told me he just took the temperature inside and that it is 33 degrees in there. #OccupyForHumanity @shaunking @theshaderoom Incarcerated Individuals Have Rights Too! JOIN US In Solidarity With Our Incarcerated Family 2/2/19 12pm – #UntilThereIsHeat MDC Brooklyn Detention Center 80 29th st Brooklyn NY 11232 Dress Warm…We Will Be There Until All Services Are Restored! @mysonnenygeneral @jamilatdavis @tamikadmallory @yandysmith @ericaford_ilovemylife @lsarsour @trife_gangsta @nyjusticeleague @msladyjustice1 @angelo_pinto_

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The Love and Hip Hop New York mogul helped organize a protest on Saturday to raise awareness and help the inmates. She plastered “Incarcerated Individuals Have Rights Too” on her Instagram profile. She also leveraged her social influence to help civil rights activist Tamika D. Mallory spread the word.

Yandy Smith and Protesters Gain National Attention 

The L&HHNY pioneer has a huge following on social media. Her updates and awareness were likely part of the groundswell of social attention that seemed to get the NYC mayor’s attention. After the outcry online and in person, Mayor de Blasio had promised hand warmers and blankets for the inmates.

However, Love and Hip Hop New York‘s Yandy claims these items didn’t make it to the inmates. Because she stated the warden of the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center reportedly refused to accept the items for the inmates. Today, a lawsuit was filed over the recent inmate conditions at the MDC. Yandy Smith has been there for all of it.

Additionally, Yandy claimed that jailhouse staff assaulted an inmate’s family member that was trying to check on an inmate. She also alleged that the guards knocked her phone out of her hand. The video above shows events at the protest where the crowds were riled up trying to help those without heat and electricity.

Yandy Smith Pepper Sprayed in the Face

On Super Bowl Sunday, the Love and Hip Hop New York star decided to continue protesting. She also worked to recruit additional protesters via social media. In addition, she asked her followers for food, blankets, and cash app donations. Certainly it seems that day two of protesting didn’t go as planned at all.

The Love and Hip Hop New York cast member was reportedly pepper sprayed by guards. At the time, Yandy Smith was trying to help a concerned mother check on the status of her son inside MDC and officers allegedly pepper sprayed the celebrity. Later, she stated on her Instagram live that the spray disoriented her and while she was out of sorts, she says guards moved her away from the protest area.

A camera captured the dramatic aftermath of the pepper spraying. People screamed and trying to flush water into Yandy Smith’s eyes to help her. Now, she seems to have recovered. Yandy was pleased to reported that as of Sunday evening, the electricity at Brooklyn MDC was restored. 

According to the New York Post, the lights came on around 7pm. Also, the Department of Justice states a new electrical panel was installed on Saturday.

For all the latest updates for Love and Hip Hop New York, visit Soap Dirt!

Lauren Sanders

Reality television is my guilty pleasure. I’ve been a fan of reality TV since MTV’s The Real World and Road Rules. I currently enjoy watching all things The Bachelor and anything on HGTV. I'm a busy mom and full-time writer!