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NYPD Under Fire After Officers Are Filmed ‘Kidnapping’ Protester By Pulling Her Into Unmarked Van


A new video of NYPD officers violently shoving a transgender protester into an unmarked van has drawn widespread condemnation online, with people calling the incident a “kidnapping.”

The incident happened Tuesday in Manhattan, during one of the ongoing protests against racism and police brutality that continue to come in waves across the country.

Shocking video of the incident shows an intense escalation in police aggression toward protesters, similar to what has been seen recently in Portland, Oregon.

WARNING: video contains NSFW language and disturbing images

The video shows plainclothes police shoving the protester into an unmarked Kia van, aided by officers in yellow vests.

The protester has been identified by her friends as an 18-year-old homeless trans woman named Nicki, who was one of the leaders of the protest. She was taken at 2nd Avenue and 25th Street in Manhattan. It is not known where she is at this time.

Speaking to Gothamist, a 32-year-old protester and eye witness named Derrick described the secrecy and aggression from the NYPD.

“…there was an unmarked grey van that moved out in front of us that had been waiting for us…”

They grabbed Nicki like she was a rag doll…They had her arms on her neck and then they drove off.”

“They’re targeting our leaders. That’s what’s going to happen now.”

NYPD officials stated the woman was arrested for five incidents of damaging surveillance cameras in City Hall Park.

They also claimed they were assaulted with rocks and bottles while making the arrest, but witnesses like 20-year-old Clara Kraebber, who also spoke with Gothamist, have called that accusation a lie.

“None of that happened whatsoever. We literally turned the corner and were met with a line of police who attacked us without warning.”

On social media, everyone from private citizens to members of Congress were outraged by the aggression seen in the video. 


In a statement, The New York Civil Liberties Union, which is New York’s state affiliate of the ACLU, called the NYPD’s behavior “horrifying and indefensible.”

“… violently forcing protesters into an unmarked van are the actions of a police force that think they can act with impunity. We won’t allow this in our city.”

The group has launched a formal investigation of the incident. 

John Sundholm

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, video producer and performer originally from Michigan, and is one of those people who says he "lived in London for a while" even though it was only six weeks for study abroad. He made Ellen DeGeneres laugh once so you should probably follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Medium, where he does a lot of yelling under the name @JohntheCraptist.