NYPD Accused Of “Kidnapping” Teen Protester [VIDEO]

ABC New York reports:

An anti-police protester has been released following an arrest that has protesters and some New York City elected officials demanding answers. 18-year-old Nikki Stone, a trans woman from the Lower East Side, was released at 1 a.m. Wednesday to cheers from her fellow protesters.

She said she had some scrapes on her knees but was otherwise fine. Stone was in police custody for about five hours before being released on a desk appearance ticket. She was charged with vandalism and criminal mischief.

It is video of her arrest that people are upset about, showing the activist being thrown into an unmarked van by plain clothes officers. This is standard procedure for the warrant squad, but typically that squad goes after more dangerous people.

The Washington Post reports:

The videos of the chaotic scene, which bore a marked similarity to the controversial tactics used by federal officers to detain demonstrators in Portland, Ore., quickly went viral.

Protesters who witnessed the incident described it as a “kidnapping,” while a number of New York’s elected officials, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), decried the officers’ actions and demanded further explanations from the NYPD.

“Our civil liberties are on brink. This is not a drill,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “There is no excuse for snatching women off the street and throwing them into unmarked vans.”

Gothamist reports:

As videos of the arrest sparked outrage online, the NYPD tweeted that the woman was “wanted for damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park.” They added that officers were assaulted by rocks and bottles in the process of making the arrest.

But at least three people at the scene who spoke to Gothamist disputed that narrative. “None of that happened whatsoever,” said Clara Kraebber, a 20-year-old Oxford student. “We literally turned the corner and were met with a line of police who attacked us without warning.”

She added that officers used pepper spray “seemingly at random” against the group as the arrest was in progress. “They were trying to make it painful to be there.”