NYPD weighs in on viral protester ‘kidnapping’ video, says arrestee suspected of vandalizing cop cameras
The New York Police Department has addressed a viral video clip showing officers forcing an activist into an unmarked vehicle, insisting the protester was suspected of vandalism as critics deemed the arrest a lawless “kidnapping.”
In footage that circulated on social media on Tuesday, plainclothes officers were seen cramming a woman into the back of an unmarked van as a crowd of angry demonstrators looks on in shock, with uniformed police swooping in to secure the area as the vehicle leaves the scene. The video has driven a wave of criticism directed at the NYPD, with many claiming the woman was ‘kidnapped in broad daylight’ or ‘disappeared’ in a manner more fitting for an authoritarian regime.
The NYPD, however, has weighed in on the incident in a string of tweets, stating the woman in the video was “wanted for damaging police cameras during five separate criminal incidents in and around City Hall Park,” also explaining that the department’s “Warrant Squad uses unmarked vehicles to effectively locate wanted suspects” and that clearly uniformed officers were present for the arrest.
When she was placed into the Warrant Squad's unmarked gray minivan, it was behind a cordon of NYPD bicycle cops in bright yellow and blue uniform shirts there to help effect the arrest.
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 arresting officers were assaulted with rocks & bottles. pic.twitter.com/2jGD3DT3eV— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 29, 2020
When she was placed into the Warrant Squad's unmarked gray minivan, it was behind a cordon of NYPD bicycle cops in bright yellow and blue uniform shirts there to help effect the arrest.— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 29, 2020
Though the police also claimed that “the arresting officers were assaulted with rocks and bottles” while bringing the woman into custody, footage of the incident does not appear to back up that account, as the plainclothes officers can be seen leaving the area in a van with no projectiles thrown. The footage cuts off with other uniformed police still on the scene, however.
The department’s explanation has done little to quell the criticism, with detractors maintaining the arrest was, in fact, a “kidnapping,” some demanding consequences for the officers.
“This is INSANITY! Dragging people off the street and threatening others! Where was that person taken! Are they afforded their Miranda rights? A phone call?! WTF!” one commenter asked in exasperation.
Invisible rocks and invisible bottles. Only in New York. https://t.co/edjp5ENmcI— .Chris (@the_invisible_a) July 29, 2020
If I just pulled my car up to someone on the sidewalk, threw them to the ground, bound them, and threw them in my car, there would be a manhunt out for my arrest and I would end up in prison.That's essentially what the government is doing to Americans with ZERO CONSEQUENCES.— Stay Home! (@007willreturn) July 29, 2020
Miranda Rights tell me what you did was illegal, people have rights even when they being arrested. What you did was kidnapping.— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) July 29, 2020
Skeptics offered some pushback, however, arguing that police make similar kinds of arrests regularly when pursuing those with warrants or other wanted suspects.
Its not kidnapping, this is usually the method used for people who have outstanding warrants or have committed felonies.— Adam Fitzgerald (@_AdamFitzgerald) July 29, 2020
That’s called being arrested, you’re from BK? You know what it is.Being Kidnapped means a ransom and you have to escape and shit.That person will be “Booked” & actually arrested— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) July 29, 2020
Similar complaints alleging questionable arrests by unmarked officers have also emerged from Portland in recent weeks, where a number of federal agencies have been deployed to manage ongoing demonstrations against police brutality. The protests have frequently escalated to violence, seeing regular clashes between activists and law enforcement, and have continued for some two months straight. Federal police deployed in the city say their presence is needed to bring the demonstrations under control, and have defended their tactics as legal and appropriate, however that has hardly calmed tensions, as the protests rage on and appear to have no end in sight.Also on rt.com UN human rights office condemns ‘arbitrary arrests & unnecessary use of force’ amid US police brutality protests
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