NEW YORK, NY—On Tuesday, July 28, a video showing New York Police Department (NYPD) officers detaining an arrestee went viral on social media. The arrestee, transgender woman Nikki “Stickers” Stone, could be seen struggling against the officers before they placed her in an unmarked van.
Stone, 18, had been at an Abolition Park protest on 2nd Ave. and 25th St. In the video, several police officers can be seen trying to haul her into a gray van, with others preventing protestors from approaching the vehicle.
More officers then arrived with bicycles, and used these as ‘shields’ of sorts to keep protestors at bay. After Stone was put in the van, a NYPD officer with an orange “Warrant Squad” top sat in the passenger’s seat. The vehicle immediately drove away.
The NYPD later provided an update on social media, alleging that Stone “was wanted for damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park.”
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison shared a video on Twitter that may show Stone vandalizing surveillance cameras. He also mentioned that since the beginning of June, Warrant Squads had apprehended 27 people for “criminal mischief crimes.”
The NYPD added that “the arresting officers were assaulted with rocks & bottles.” This was disputed by some social media users.
“Saw this from my window. The police caused chaos and put people in danger with this authoritarian tactic,” @pfisher518 commented. “I saw a total of ONE plastic bottle thrown, harming no one. There are no “rocks” lying around 2nd Avenue.”
“No rocks or bottles in any lengthy videos shared on social media,” @2AvSagas commented. “Please provide proof of these rocks and bottles and explain the legal justification for using an unmarked car for a routine warrant arrest.”
Hours after Stone’s arrest, Twitter user @CarleneNYC shared a post announcing that the former had been released from police custody. Nine fellow protestors who had been arrested alongside Stone were allegedly still being held at the 17th Precinct.
Stone is reportedly experiencing homelessness. A fundraiser for her to pay rent has collected over $45,000 in donations — more than thrice the original $15,000 target. It is unclear if the fundraiser is official or a scam.