NY Gov Cuomo and NYC Mayor de Blasio’s React to NYPD Grabbing of Woman into Unmarked Van
On July 28, NYPD Officers apprehended a woman off the streets of NYC and shoved her into an unmarked van with multiple officers gathering and fending off oncoming protesters.
The scene, captured on video from more than one angle shows the woman being wrestled to the ground and shoved into an unmarked vehicle. She was part of a protest movement which was happening upon 2nd Avenue and 25th Street.
In the hours that followed, outrage would light social media on fire as the video would be shared repeatedly. Local government leaders and citizens made their voices heard on the internet.
Following is one of many twitter posts showing what’d transpired:
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
In response, later in the evening, NYPD News would make a related post:
“In regard to a video on social media that took place at 2 Ave & 25 St, a woman taken into custody in an unmarked van was wanted for damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park. The arresting officers were assaulted with rocks & bottles.”
In regard to a video on social media that took place at 2 Ave & 25 St, a woman taken into custody in an unmarked van was wanted for damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park. The arresting officers were assaulted with rocks & bottles. pic.twitter.com/2jGD3DT3eV
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 29, 2020
Below are the responses from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Cuomo speaking of this incident during his tele-conference with the Press this morning:
Following this partial transcript is the audio of his statement.
“There was a video about the NYPD arresting someone and putting them in an unmarked van. The video was very disturbing and frightening. I can’t tell you how many people called me about it. The initial thought was – it was so outrageous – they thought it was a federal action because it looked like something that would happen in Portland, Oregon or something that Federal ICE troops would do,” said the Governor.
“I saw the video. I thought that – it was very disturbing to me. I’m surprised at – especially at this time – the NYPD would take such an obnoxious action. It was wholly insensitive to everything that’s going on. It was frightening and to me it’s emblematic of the larger problem. We have to repair the relationship between the police and the community writ large. It does not work without trust and respect. Period – and we don’t have mutual trust and respect. You talk to people in the community, talk to the police – they both say the same thing. I don’t trust and I don’t respect. The NYPD says, you want me to do my job – yes there has to be public safety – everybody agrees. They feel that they’re not trusted and they’re not respected and then you talk to people from the community and they say they’re not trusted and respected by the police and the police say we’re not trusted and respected by the community.”
“Yeah, that’s where we are. Let’s be honest – and this is not going to be fixed by a press release or a one-off bill – it’s about stopping tear gas, it’s about stopping rubber bullets – we’re gonna cut the budget x percent. It’s deeper, it’s more fundamental than that. I have said, we’re not going to fund local governments in the next budget unless they do what is responsible which is to put the community at a table with the police department – and the community leaders and the elected leaders – and you form a collaborative and you talk through a new structure of policing and community relations. That is the only way the relationship is going to be restored – and what we’re now seeing are just symptoms, symptoms, symptoms of the illness. We can’t deal with symptoms, there is no ultimate resolution in dealing with symptoms – you have to get to the core and I know it’s hard and I know no one wants to take it on because I know there are entrenched positions – but that’s where we are.”
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press conference this morning was filled with one question after another from members of the press about this incident.
Interestingly, the Mayor did not volunteer any thoughts on the subject until he was asked to do so by the Press.
The following are just some of his responses:
“First of all, a lot of us have watched in pain what’s been going on in Portland, Oregon, and the fact that you see federal agents, federal officers, federal troops, clearly doing inappropriate things meant to undermine our democratic process. That’s just thoroughly unacceptable. So, anything that even slightly suggest that is, to me, troubling and it’s the kind of thing that we don’t want to see in this city. This is not Portland. And I want to emphasize that what you see on that video is NYPD officers – there are no federal agents involved, nor would we be involved with federal agents in anything like that. So, I think it was the wrong time and the wrong place to effectuate that arrest. The arrest, as I understand it so far, was for damaging police property – I want to affirm very clearly, no one is allowed to damage police property. That is a real offense. That is an offense that can lead to an arrest and my message to everyone, if you’re out there protesting, protest peacefully. You know, we are talking this week about one of the greatest recent American heroes, John Lewis, who epitomized peaceful protest and civil disobedience. There’s lots of powerful ways to make an impact without damaging any property. If you damage property, it will lead to consequences. But that was not the time in place to effectuate that arrest.”
“This is a question of making sure there’s coordination to understand we’re in a particular historical moment where there has to be sensitivity, where folks are understandably worried about what they see coming out of Washington about the defense of democratic rights. This city, we do have a clear history of understanding. There’s going to be a lot of protest and peaceful protest, and we honor it and respect it, whatever the point of view.”
“There is a warrant squad. There’s been one as far as I know for generations. Their work often involves having to do things in a quiet manner by definition. So they don’t come up with, you know, sirens blaring and always in police vehicles, but it was quite clear that that was an arrest being effectuated by the NYPD, as it would be in a lot of other situations, again, wrong time, wrong place. But I think if someone, again, I need to start at the beginning, the vast majority of protestors do not damage public property. The vast majority of protestors do not assault police officers. Just go down the list of things that you might get arrested for. If you commit one of those acts, there will be consequences. I think there was a better way to do this though.”