#De Blasio says NYPD should’ve been more ‘sensitive’ in arrest of protester

#De Blasio says NYPD should’ve been more ‘sensitive’ in arrest of protester

July 29, 2020 | 11:54am | Updated July 29, 2020 | 12:08pm

Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks the NYPD should have been more “sensitive” to protesters when officers arrested a woman mid-demonstration Tuesday, even though the suspect was being sought on a warrant for allegedly vandalizing police property near City Hall Park.

Video posted on social media showed four plainclothes cops taking Nikki Stone into a silver KIA minivan,  as other protesters tried to intervene. Police said its Warrant Squad routinely uses “unmarked vehicles to effectively locate wanted suspects.”

But Hizzoner said it was a “mistake” for the plainclothes cops to have busted Stone, 18, the way they did Tuesday night — saying they should have been more sensitive to the concerns of her fellow protesters.

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“We’re in a particular historical moment where there has to be sensitivity,” he said, “where folks are understandably worried about what they’re seeing coming out of Washington about the defense of democratic rights.”

De Blasio said the bust, which had nothing to do with federal authorities, happened at the wrong place and wrong time.

“It made sense to do it in a situation that was clearly not in the middle of an ongoing protest,” he said.

Stone was marching with Black Lives Matter protesters in Kips Bay around 6 p.m. when she was picked up by a team of cops from the warrant squad.

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She was released early Wednesday on charges of criminal mischief for allegedly damaging four NYPD cameras at City Hall Park. She’s also accused of vandalizing The Oculus and an F train in incidents between June 19 and July 6.

De Blasio went so far as to say said he’d like to see “more coordination” from the NYPD when it comes to future arrests.

He also compared the situation to Portland, where federal agents assigned to protect a courthouse and other government property intervened with protesters on the street and took some of them into custody in unmarked vehicles.

“Anything that even slightly suggests that is to me troubling and the kind of thing we don’t want to see in this city,” de Blasio said.

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