Nikki Stone is a teenage protester in New York City who has been released after she was arrested and pulled off the street into an unmarked New York Police Department minivan. Video of the moment of her arrest was quickly spread on social media. Police confirmed the incident on their official page.
“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,” police said.
The 18-year-old protester has been identified by journalists and by GoFundMe campaigners raising funds for her housing as “trans” and “trans femme.”
A video of the incident was posted to Twitter by journalist Michelle Lhooq, who wrote, “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.”
The video shows Stone being pulled into a silver Kia by plainclothes NYPD as other protesters attempt to intervene.
In subsequent tweets, the NYPD said, “When officers from the Warrant Squad took the woman into custody in a gray NYPD minivan this evening, they were assaulted with rocks and bottles. The Warrant Squad uses unmarked vehicles to effectively locate wanted suspects.
“When she was placed into the Warrant Squad’s unmarked gray minivan, it was behind a cordon of NYPD bicycle cops in bright yellow and blue uniform shirts there to help effect the arrest.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Police Released the Protester a Short Time After the Incident
Stone “was released from the 1st Precinct station house after being loaded into an unmarked van and getting slapped with several charges stemming from numerous instances of alleged vandalism,” according to the New York Post.
Stone was marching with demonstrators through Kips Bay on July 28 when police picked her up saying she destroyed four police cameras at City Park Hall on June 30, the Post said.
She also faced several charges of graffiti and criminal mischief from separate incidents that took place in multiple locations, including an F-train and an Upper East Side Building, between June 19 and July 6, according to the Post.
Video From the Protests & the Hashtag ‘WhereIsNikki’ Were Shared on Social Media
Other video from the protests was shared on Twitter showing NYPD holding batons and cans of pepper spray while yelling, “Get back.”
Twitter user @feistymexarican posted, “An unmarked van just snatched up a protester on 25th & 2nd and NYPD started attacking us!!!!!”
A video showing the incident from another angle was also published.
The NYCLU called the act “horrifying and indefensible.”
A GoFundMe for Stone Has Already Raised More Than $20,000
The Human Rights Campaign tweeted the hashtag “WhereIsNikki” following the incident.
“This is deeply troubling. Plainclothes NYPD officers yanked a protester off the street — identified by her friends as an 18-year old homeless trans person. Where is she? #WhereIsNikki Cc: @NYCMayor,” they wrote.
A GoFundMe campaign was also launched to help the woman find housing.
Twitter user @KellyMarx posted, “Nikki who also goes by Stickers has been located. Friends are waiting for her at precinct.”
Emily Dick, who organized the campaign, wrote on the GoFundMe page, “Stickers is a young, trans woman who has been experiencing houselessness. She is in need of housing within the next two weeks. She is in need of money for rent for several months as she finds a source of stable income. She is a passionate woman who brings joy and comfort to all those who she surrounds, and she is dedicated to helping those in her community. Those that know Stickers want her to thrive and live in stable, comfortable and safe housing. We love Stickers!”