A video showing plainclothes NYPD officers putting a protester onto an unmarked vehicle has gone viral overnight, garnering more than 7 million views.
NBC New York reports that Nikki Stone was arrested on Tuesday by undercover officers from the New York Police Department and forced into an unmarked van.
The video shows several men accosting the 18-year-old during a protest down Second Avenue at East 25th Street in Manhattan.
Watch the video:
NYC is taking after Portland – a trans femme protestor was pulled into an unmarked van at the Abolition Park protest – this was at 2nd Ave and 25th Street pic.twitter.com/1PDhSYuK9h
— michelle lh࿊࿊q (@MichelleLhooq) July 28, 2020
After the video gained major attention online, the NYPD said Stone “was wanted for damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park.”
Police claimed their officers were attacked with rocks and bottles during the arrest and that “Warrant Squad uses unmarked vehicles to effectively locate wanted suspects.”
Twelve other people were arrested but Stone was released early Wednesday morning and a GoFundMe appeal has been started to raise money for housing for Stone, who’s also known as “Stickers.”
The incident drew immediate comparison to similar events in Portland, Oregon, where protesters were grabbed off the streets by federal officials and taken away in unmarked vehicles.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media