New York City police accused of 'kidnapping' protester

Clay Curtis
July 31, 2020

"In regard to a video on social media that took place at 2 Ave & 25 St, a woman taken into custody in an unmarked van was wanted for damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park", the NYPD said in a July 28 Twitter post.

As protesters gathered to watch in disbelief, uniformed officers flooded the scene, cordoning protesters with their bicycles while Stone was pulled into the minivan.

Acknowledging the video, the NYPD issued a statement Tuesday night explaining that Stone was picked up by a police warrant squad for allegedly damaging several surveillance cameras near City Hall, where activists camped out for a month before riot police forced them out last week. Police also claimed the officers were peppered with rocks and bottles as they took Stone into custody, but witnesses said that wasn't the case. We hadn't seen them.

"There is no excuse for snatching women off the street and throwing them into unmarked vans", she said in a tweet hours after the arrest.

Critics on social media raised concerns and conflated the situation with the detention of a person of interest in Portland this month by federal agents who used a minivan.

People have packed the streets and avenues of Manhattan to protest against aggressive and racially discriminatory police tactics, flared by the slaying of Black man George Floyd at the knee of a white officer. "We literally turned the corner and were met with a line of police who attacked us without warning", Clara Kraebber, 20, told Gothamist.

The protestor was identified on social media as Nicki.

As for the NYC protester, she had reportedly been released from custody as of Wednesday morning.

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Breen included that Ellen was besieged by hangers-on throughout the meeting and they always interrupted Wilkins' conversation. Others claimed that raising complaints about offensive or racist comments from colleagues saw them labelled as "PC police".

"There must be an immediate explanation for this anonymous use of force", tweeted fellow New York City Congressman Jerrold Nadler.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has also demanded the NYPD take accountability for how such an act infringes on New York City citizens' "civil liberties".

Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, called video of the encounter "incredibly disturbing".

As police practices come under intensifying scrutiny, the incident became a lightning rod for criticism from various lawmakers and city officials. Physically resisting can lead to additional charges, including resisting arrest or assault.

NY criminal defense attorneys on Wednesday decried the arrest but noted that the tactic used in the video was not uncommon.

In response to Trump's threat, De Blasio sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, telling acting Secretary Chad Wolf that agents who "engage in tactics like those in Portland, will not help fight crime - it will undermine public trust in law enforcement".

"We know that people of color and transgender people are at greater risk of police brutality, with transgender people at particular risk of harassment and abuse while detained".

A protester was arrested Tuesday during a protest in Manhattan and placed in an unmarked van, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has confirmed. The reaction to the video, she said, was "white people waking up to a reality Black and Brown people have lived for decades".

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