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The ‘kidnapping’ that wasn’t

Empower Wisconsin | July 30, 2020

By Tobias Hoonhout, National Review

Prominent Democrats and media pundits rushed to claim that a standard-procedure arrest of a “trans femme protestor” by undercover cops in NYC was a “kidnapping,” despite the presence of clearly-marked NYPD officers at the scene and the subsequent release of the suspect.

Nicholas Stone, an 18-year-old male who identifies as a woman, was arrested for criminal mischief and making graffiti five separate times over the last two months, the police said.

Video of the incident shows Stone, while riding on a skateboard, being apprehended by plainclothes officers in an unmarked minivan, with NYPD bike officers creating a perimeter to keep protestors from interfering in the arrest. In a public statement, the NYPD clarified that its warrant squad arrested Stone in connection to “damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park.”

On Wednesday, Detective Chief Rodney Harrison tweeted out an alleged video of Stone damaging police cameras, saying “damage to NYPD technology that helps keep this city safe will never be tolerated.”

The NYPD also explained that the arrest was standard procedure, saying that “the Warrant Squad uses unmarked vehicles to effectively locate wanted suspects.”

In a statement to National Review, the police added that it made 11 additional arrests at the scene — 10 males and one female — for “obstructing governmental administration related offenses” and criminal mischief. All received Desk Appearance Tickets to return to court at a later date.

Paul DiGiacomo, president of the New York Detectives Endowment Association, told National Review that the arrest was “100 percent by the book” and that warrant-squad detectives “always” conduct their operations in plain clothes.

But videos of the incident drew outrage and unfounded accusations. The most viral video of the incident compared the case to the situation in Portland, where federal agents have attempted to protect the federal courthouse from violent agitators.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) called the “terrifying and unacceptable” arrest an “anonymous use of force.”

Former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro warned that “New Yorkers . . . are being abducted by unidentified officers and thrown in unmarked vans.”

Representative Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) slammed the NYPD for “police-state tactics” and its “kidnapping protesters into unmarked cars in broad daylight.”

After MSNBC host Chris Hayes described the arrest as a “kidnapping,” the characterization drew clarification from NBC reporter Tom Winter.

Read more at National Review.

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