Video: NYC Plainclothes agents force a trans woman into an unmarked van

Nikki / Photo GoFundme

Niki Stone, an 18-year-old homeless NYC transgender woman was forced into an unmarked van by plainclothes agents on July 28, 2020. No charges have been filed in this abduction many are comparing to recent kidnappings by unmarked federal agents in Portland.

NYPD said on twitter without naming her that Nikki was taken into custody for allegedly damaging police cameras. Her friends said that Nikki who also goes by the name ‘Stickers’ was placing her namesake on police video cameras at “occupation hall”.

UPDATE: Nikki Stone freed amid cheers of supporters

ABC 7 reports that she was held for five hours for processing and released around 1 a.m. to cheers from her fellow protesters. She said she had some scrapes on her knees but was otherwise fine.

Stone is charged with criminal mischief, making graffiti and possession of a graffiti instrument for five separate incidents.

Witnesses said it looked more kidnapping than an arrest, and they said it reminded them of a tactic used by federal officers in Portland, Oregon.

“They grab her off of the street as she’s skateboarding, don’t even put handcuffs on her, and throw her into an unmarked vehicle,” one protester said. “None of the people are wearing badges. That’s just terrorism.”

If convicted Nikki Stone could face anywhere between a slap on the wrist to seven years in jail. It depends on which degree of Criminal Mischief she is charged. However, it is universally agreed upon that the method the officers apprehended Nikki was an abuse of authority. NYPD doesn’t deny that they use unmarked officers in making arrests but that method is supposed to be reserved for the most dangerous and most wanted.

Nikki a homeless woman is staying in a police free zone was apprehended while skateboarding down the street.

Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the controversy Wednesday, saying it was not desirable for the police to handle the arrest as they did.

“This is not Portland,” he said. “Anything that even slightly that even suggests that is troubling…That was not the time and place to effectuate the arrest. Given this atmosphere we’re dealing with in the country, it just didn’t make sense.”

Nikki told the Gothamist on July 8, what brought her to stay at “Abolition Park” a Police-Free Zone. “…[she] had been couchsurfing and sleeping on roofs, in shelters, and on the subway for the last two years, before she started staying at the park. She declined to give her last name for fear of retaliation.”

“I have never been so fucking full and felt so healthy and felt so supported. Anywhere I go outside of here I’m a fucking freak, being trans and skateboarding and wearing different clothes,” she said. “I’ve had transphobic slurs thrown at me for being in public. But here the first thing I get asked is, ‘What are your pronouns?’”

Emily Dick wrote about Niki in her fundraiser for her:
“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!”

A reminder. Abductions can and will happen anywhere as long as the fascist trump retains power.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


  1. Stickers, you would be welcome to come to Canada under refugee status. That would send a huge message about your situation and you could probably find work and a place to live here. Lmk your email if you want more info

  2. Well said, Jeanette. Conversely, as Mayor de Blasio pointed out it could have been handled better by the NYPD. I think that they did it this way because they knew it would be recorded and go viral.

  3. I will always agree that the presumption of innocence is the basis of our justice system, it may (given the street violence and the destruction of Police property) that arresting someone in an unmarked vehicle has some practical rationale behind it.

    Given the statement in your report, “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”.

    The world is well aware of the violence and destruction involved in the recent BLM protests, together with the assaults on both Police personnel and property. Whilst I might abhor the idea of unmarked cars and plain clothes officers, it is not difficult to understand why this mode of operation has come about.

    This would be particularly pertinent, given the arrest was performed at a public demonstration.

    Hopefully the Police will treat her lawfully, and with respect; in the same manner as any other citizen. I look forward to a further report as to how the matter is resolved.


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