Image courtesy Twitter/@Naddleez
NEW YORK - Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo are speaking out after video of a protester being taken into an umarked police van during a demonstration Tuesday night sent off a social media firestorm.
The woman has since been released.
During his daily briefing Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio noted it was the NYPD involved in Tuesday's arrest, not federal officers, and said there needs to be more coordination within the command structure when it comes to these types of arrests.
“A lot of us have watched in pain what’s been going on in Portland, Oregon. That’s just thoroughly unacceptable. Anything that slightly suggests that is not acceptable," said De Blasio. “I think it was the wrong time and the wrong place to affect that arrest.”
The mayor went on to say people who damage city property should expect consequences.
“If you’re out there protesting, protest peacefully. If you damage property there will be consequences but that was not the time and place," De Blasio said.
"I'm surprised that especially at this time the NYPD would take such an obnoxious action. It was wholly insentive to everything that's going on, it was frightening and to me it's emblematic of the larger problem. We have to repair the relationship between the police and the community writ large," Cuomo said in a phone conference Wednesday.
A video showing the woman being taken into an unmarked NYPD Warrants Squad van quickly went viral on social media.
The protester is seen being taken into an unmarked van by plainclothes Warrant Squad officers in Kips Bay while other uniformed officers keep other protesters away.
Though the NYPD confirmed that the procedure is something used by Warrant Squad officers, critics of the video drew comparisons to a tactic used by federal agents in Portland to arrest protesters there.
Police confirmed that NYPD officers are seen making an arrest in the video. The NYPD is accusing the protester of "damaging police cameras during five separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park."
The NYPD identified the person arrested as 18-year-old Nikki Stone.
Police say she is charged with five counts of criminal mischief.
The NYPD said early Wednesday morning that Stone was released and given a desk appearance ticket.
According to the NYPD, the Warrant Squad uses unmarked cars "to effectively locate wanted suspects."
A group called Abolition Park, which was staging a Black Lives Matter protest march in the area, called the incident a kidnapping.
They say the vehicle came upon them with no warning.
"If people are afraid to come out on the streets because they're afraid of the cops, that's the effects of terrorism," said one protester. "We should be able to call it out. We should be able to identify this as what it is."
"The police cut us off and bumrushed us when we were peacefully chanting. It sucks," said another.
Earlier in the evening, Rivera called for an investigation into "why an unmarked van full of officers was anywhere near a peaceful protest."
Several city elected officials also expressed concern with the video.