New York police officers, several in plain clothes, rushed to demonstrate Tuesday against aggressive police tactics and arrested protesters they confessed and dragged her into an unmarked minivan before she left.
Videos from the meeting have provoked intense criticism on social media, including allegations that New York City police have adopted tactics similar to those used by federal agents during the recent protests in Portland, Ore., Where some people were involved in unmarked supplies.
The police department said in a statement that the woman had been taken into custody by police officers out of order in connection with “damage to police cameras during five separate crimes in and around City Hall”;, an obvious reference to incidents that took place during the City Hall protests. . Police did not provide details of these incidents immediately. According to the police department, the arrests took place on Second Avenue and East 25th Street in the Kips Bay part of Manhattan.
The command unit usually uses unmarked vehicles to find the people they were looking for in connection with the crimes. Police did not name the woman, but said charges had been brought against her.
Although police said they followed standard procedures, the incident occurs at a time when law enforcement procedures are under strict control. Several city officials said on Tuesday that their videos had been arrested and that they had publicly asked the police department for a more detailed explanation.
City Council spokesman Corey Johnson called the video of the meeting “incredibly disturbing.” Scott M. Stringer, a New York inspector, said he was “deeply concerned.”
Councilor Brad Lander of Brooklyn said that “concerned about what is happening in Portland, the NYPD is deploying unmarked vans with police officers in civilian clothes to make the arrest of protesters on the streets look more like provocation than public safety.”
A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio asked about the arrest of a woman on Tuesday night for a statement by the police department.
Tuesday’s arrest was the last item in a nationwide conversation on aggressive police tactics. For weeks since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, people in the city have organized protests against police brutality and racism in the criminal justice system.
The protest on Tuesday, when the woman was detained, took place in response to the clean-up of the camp in occupied town halls last week, organizers said.
The demonstration of the occupied town halls itself, which began on June 23, when about 100 people set up camp on a small grassy area east of the town hall, aimed to put pressure on the city council to reduce funding for the police department.
Most of the people went home for the demonstration within days after the Council finally decided to move almost half a billion dollars from the police, although the move did not meet the expectations of many protesters. The homeless then played on site for free meals and open-air camps before the camp was cleared last week.
The tactics used by federal agents in Portland sparked renewed protests across the country. Some agents dressed in camouflage and tactical gear sprayed slimy gas on the protesters and dragged others into unmarked vans.
Juliana Kim contributed a report.