Controversy In New York City After Plainclothes Cops Haul Protester Away In Unmarked Van (Video)

Video After The Jump

Video of plainclothes NYPD officers grabbing a young woman from a protest and putting her into an unmarked vehicle has ignited questions about police tactics, but the department says the actions taken against a suspected vandal were appropriate and warranted.

The arrest occurred Tuesday evening as a group of protesters made their way down Second Avenue at East 25th Street in Manhattan. The video has been seen over 7 million times on Twitter. In it, multiple men can be seen grabbing 18-year-old Nikki Stone, who was among several other protesters leading a larger group of demonstrators participating in a 24-hour protest, and forcing her into an unmarked van.

As the person was being taken away, the other protesters rushed over to see what was going on. Uniformed officers kept the demonstrators away, using bicycles as barriers, the video showed.

Police sources told NBC News that the arrest was conducted by undercover NYPD officers. Stone was among 12 people who were arrested, according to the NYPD.

After the incident gained attention online, the NYPD said that Stone "was wanted for damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park." The department also noted that officers were hit with rocks and bottles while bringing the person into custody, and in a subsequent tweet, said that the "Warrant Squad uses unmarked vehicles to effectively locate wanted suspects."

"They actually snatched up and took a woman who was in our camp and drove off, which initiated aggression from our camp," one protester said.

It was not immediately clear if Stone had been charged. She was later released from custody early Wednesday after being given a desk appearance ticket, according to NYC Councilmember Carlina Rivera.

Source: NBC New York

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