Videos of the chaotic scene, much like the controversial tactics used by federal officials to detain demonstrators in Ore, Portland, quickly became viral. Protesters who witnessed the incident described it as a “kidnapping”, and a number of New York elected officials, including the representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), refused to take action and publicly demanded additional explanations from the NYPD.
“Our civil liberties are on the verge. It’s not a drill, “Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. “It̵7;s impossible to justify women on the street and throw them in unmarked vans.”
(This video speaks clearly.)
In a statement on Twitter, the police department confirmed that its officers had used an unmarked minibus in the detention center, adding that the arrested woman had been “wanted for damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in and around City Hall.”
In a letter to The Washington Post, authorities named the protester 18-year-old Nikki Stone, also known as Nicki online. Police said Stone faces charges of crimes related to the five incidents and will receive a ticket to the table show.
“When officers of the Warrant Squadron took the woman into custody in a gray NYPD van tonight, they were attacked with stones and bottles,” Tuesday’s report said. “The Warrant Squad uses unmarked vehicles to effectively find suspects.”
But protesters who attended Tuesday night challenged a version of the NYPD events, demanding that they not even physically interact with officials, even during the arrest.
“None of this happened,” Clara Kraebber, a 20-year-old Oxford student, told Gothamist. “We just turned the corner and met a police officer who attacked us without warning.”
Kraebber said officials when arresting the pepper sprayed the group “seemingly by accident” and added: “They were trying to make a painful presence there.”
Another witness told Gothamist that the protesters “unexpectedly arrived at the van” “rolled on the table and ate pizza.”
“We didn’t see where they came from,” the witness said. Suddenly they grabbed Nicki. It was like a kidnapping. “
The stone arrest was recorded in several videos that spread widely on social media on Tuesday night.
In one video, a group of protesters, some of whom ride bikes and skateboards, walk down the street before pushing the camera to one of the officers, roughly grabbing Stone a few feet from the van.
As a handful of protesters approach, the officer shouts, “Come back!” Several times and charges those approaching too close on foot.
Within seconds, more police officers flooded the area, using their bikes to create a barrier between the minibus, where officers were still fighting Stone, and the crowd.
“What’s wrong with your pigs?” The person screams in a video showing a different angle of the event.
Additional videos after the protesters showed tensions directed against the remaining NYPD officials. One officer was filmed and shouted at the demonstrators to retreat, at the time squabbling at what looked like a large spray bottle and loaf.
While the NYPD said Tuesday’s arrest was a standard procedure and said no federal government was involved, many noted the scene was too similar to this month’s Portland reports, where protesters were taken from the street by agents dressed in military uniform and loaded unmarked. minibuses.
The actions of Portland federal agents, who were reportedly deployed as part of a demonstration by federal government backed by President Trump, have raised concerns in cities such as New York and Chicago, which are still experiencing frequent protests and floods of violence. In recent weeks, Trump has defended the Portland operation from critics who abandoned the aggressive tactics used by agents and continued to threaten to send federal forces to other cities led by Democratic mayors.
On Tuesday, when videos of NYPD officials throwing stone into a stone van garnered millions of opinions, several city officials expressed concern about the arrest and at least one called for an independent review of the incident. Early Wednesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) did not comment on the virus footage and the mayor did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.
“[W]Worried about what was happening in Portland, the NYPD deployed unmarked vans with plain clothes cops to carry out street arrests [sic] feels more like a provocation than public safety, ”wrote Brad Lander (D), a member of New York City Council, on Twitter.
City council chairman Corey Johnson (D) said the video was “extremely disturbing,” and New York City controller Scott M. Stringer said he was “very concerned.”
“We need answers immediately,” Stringer added.
Meanwhile, Manhattan City President Gale A. Brewer urged police to remember the importance of escalation.
“We can’t let what’s happening in Portland happen here,” the brewer wrote on Twitter. “In part, police accountability is for ordinary citizens who know who is overseeing them. When a vehicle that someone is driving cannot be detected, it triggers an alarm. Police cannot disperse situations if they do not identify themselves. “