New York City police officers slammed several people in plain clothes in a demonstration against aggressive police tactics on Tuesday and arrested a guard who appeared to be dragging her in an unwanted minivan while driving.
The video of the encounter drew intense criticism on social media, alleging that New York police were adopting tactics similar to those used by federal agents during a recent protest in Portland, Ore., Where some people were pulled into unmarked vans Was.
Police Department The woman said in a statement A clear reference to the events that took place during the Occupai City Hall protests, which were detained by officers from the Warrant Squad in the case of “damaging police cameras during five separate criminal incidents in and around City Hall Park” is. Police did not immediately provide details about those incidents. According to the police department, the arrest occurred on Second Avenue and East 25th Street in the Kipps Bay section of Manhattan.
Police said warrant teams usually use unmarked vehicles to locate wanted people in connection with crimes. Police did not name the woman but said charges were pending against her.
While police indicated they were following standard procedure, the incident comes at a time when law enforcement practices are under intense scrutiny. Several city officials said on Tuesday that they were upset over the video of the woman’s arrest and publicly demanded a full explanation from the police department.
Corey Johnson, City Council speaker, called the video of the encounter “incredibly disturbing”. Scott M. Stringer, Controller of New York City, said he was “deeply concerned.”
Brooklyn counselor Brad Lander said “With concern about what’s happening in Portland, NYPD deploys unmarked vans with Plaincloths Police to make street arrests of protesters that feel more like a provocation than public safety.”
A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio raised questions about the woman’s arrest on the police department’s statement Tuesday night.
The arrest on Tuesday was the latest flashpoint in a nationwide conversation about aggressive police tactics. Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, people have staged citywide protests against police vandalism and racism in the criminal justice system.
Organizers said that the woman who was arrested on Tuesday was opposed to the encroachment of the Okupai City Hall last week.
The Occupy City Hall demonstration, which began on June 23, when about 100 people set up camp on a small patch of grass east of City Hall, aimed at pressuring the city council to cut police department funding Was.
Most of the people at the demonstration went home within days when the council eventually decided to move about $ 1 billion away from the police, though the move has lowered many of the protesters’ expectations. Homeless people cleared last week before walking to the site to have their free meals and open-air camping.
The strategy used by federal agents in Portland has sparked renewed protests around the country. Some agents dressed in camouflage and tactical gear, sprayed tear gas at the protesters and pulled others into the unmarked van.
Juliana Kim contributed reporting.