We discussed the controversy over the use of unmarked cars by federal officials to arrest people in Portland. As I have written, the use of unmarked cars and (even these officers had police tags on them) civilian clothes is common practice and not unconstitutional. Now an arrest by the NYPD with an unmarked Carhas led to similar objections. MSNBC presenter Chris Hayes even stated that the following view is a "kidnapping". It is not so. It is not even illegal or inappropriate to use an unmarked vehicle. The basis for the arrest can be questioned, but the rhetoric of reporting exceeds the reality of the law. MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) Has declared the video as evidence of an authoritarian takeover.
Hayes said "This is … kidnapping" on Twitter after this video was released by civilian NYPD officials who detain a woman in an unmarked van on the East Side of Manhattan.
Hayes does not appear to be concerned about the violence against officials or the conditions that lead to the use of an unmarked vehicle.
The MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) Agreed with Hayes & # 39; view:
“Our civil liberties are marginal. This is not an exercise. There's no excuse to grab women off the streets and throw them into unmarked vans. "
This was not a "snap". It was an arrest with an unmarked van.
The NYPD says officials have arrested a suspect in five crimes. In addition, it was clearly arrested with uniformed police officers who were also on site.
The NYPD also stated that this was an arrest that was carried out in extremely difficult circumstances. “Regarding a social media video that was held at 2nd Ave & 25 Street, a woman was sought who was detained in an unmarked van for being involved in 5 different criminal incidents in and around City Hall Park had damaged police cameras. The arrest officers were attacked with stones and bottles. . . When Warrant Squad officials arrested the woman in a gray NYPD minivan tonight, they were attacked with stones and bottles. The Warrant Squad uses unmarked vehicles to effectively locate suspects. "
Once again, I am deeply concerned about the hyperbolic and inaccurate coverage. While MSNBC quickly criticized (and often justified) President Trump for inaccurate statements and fueled divisions, this is an example of how such rhetoric is not questioned by his own hosts and commentators. Legal analysis and members of Congress through MSNBC and other networks have often brought up highly questionable theories of crime against Trump or his government.
The allegation that the use of unmarked cars is illegal or kidnapping is the kind of uncommented comment that has fueled violence against officials. Hundreds of officers have been injured or killed since the beginning of these protests. If you call them kidnappers, rioters and groups like Antifa targeting officers are only better protected. The same is true when spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi called the federal law enforcement agencies in places like Portland "stormtroopers" or other politicians who called them "Gestapo" or "secret police".
Such comments from people like Hayes are undoubtedly popular, but this hysteria will only ignite the flames of further unrest. While he may think that these irresponsible comments will only undermine those with conflicting views, history has shown that such anger is nothing more predictable and controllable. Statements about state kidnapping and authoritarian takeovers are used as a license for major violence and riots by extremist groups at both ends of the ideological spectrum.