Video posted to social media on Tuesday showed a group of plainclothes NYPD police officers stop and pull a Black Lives Matter protester into an unmarked van. The arrest drew comparisons to aggressive arrests around recent protests in Portland where federal agents have been shoving targets into similarly unmarked vehicles.
The protester seen taken away by police at 2nd Ave and 25th Street as she was skateboarding was later identified as Nikki Stone, an 18-year-old transgender woman who police say was suspected of destroying law enforcement surveillance cameras at City Hall Park in late June.
The New York Post reports that Stone was freed early Wednesday: “Nikki Stone, 18, was released from the 1st Precinct station house after getting slapped with numerous charges stemming from numerous instances of alleged vandalism. Stone was welcomed out of custody by about a dozen Black Lives Matter protesters, including the movement’s influential New York leader, Hawk Newsome.”
The police released a statement: “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.”