Actress Alyssa Milano took aim at a recent New York City arrest that took place on East 25th Street and 2nd Ave and likened the New York police officers involved to Donald Trump’s “Gestapo,” referring to Nazi Germany’s official secret police, Breitbart reported.
“It looks like #TrumpsGestapo kidnapping protestors,” she tweeted. “I’m sorry for putting out something that hasn’t been verified but this seems like it’s important to get out there.”
The video received backlash from some social media users, who noted the use of an unmarked van to make the arrest.
In response to the criticism, the NYPD confirmed that the woman in question was taken into custody for allegedly damaging police cameras in five separate criminal incidents that took place in and around City Hall Park.
“The arresting officers were assaulted with rocks & bottles,” the NYPD tweeted.
“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.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the incident and pushed back on suggestions that the arrest was linked to similar law enforcement tactics used in Portland, Oregon, where Trump deployed Department of Homeland Security agents.
“I think it was the wrong time and the wrong place to effectuate that arrest,” de Blasio said.
As reported by NPR, the DHS confirmed that its agents are using unmarked vans to detain people in Portland. According to various accounts, detained individuals are not told the reason for their arrest.
Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said that the practice is being employed to keep officers safe and clear from crowds. After apprehension, Cuccinelli said detainees are brought to a “safe location for questioning.” He also suggested that the practice would continue to be used so long as people continue to destroy property and engage in violent acts.
Pushback to the use of unmarked vans for detaining protestors is not just online. Jann Carson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, expressed opposition to the practice, which she likened to kidnapping, and said it should be a “concern” to every person in America.
In addition, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams, the Department of Justice’s chief law enforcement official in Oregon, called for an inspector general investigation into DHS agents over reports of protestors being taken into custody without probable cause.
Per Law & Crime, acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and Deputy Director of the Federal Protective Service Richard Kris Cline appeared to separately admit that their officials have been violating the Constitution by arresting people without probable cause.