Black Lives Matter Protester Thrown In Unmarked Van By Armed Plainclothes Police
A Black Lives Matter protester in Pittsburgh was thrown into an unmarked white van by armed police in plain clothes over the weekend.
The protester, named as 25-year-old Matthew Cartier, was said to have been blocking traffic during the protests and ignored police orders to move to allow cars to pass.
The incident was caught on camera by a fellow protester Samm Bones on Saturday, August 15.
Sharing the video on Twitter, Bones wrote, ‘We out here in PITTSBURGH, PA. And unidentified, ARMED, federal agents in an unmarked white sprinter van just abducted a peaceful protester just minutes ago!’
Apparently Cartier was scaring drivers trying to pass which is why the police swooped in, reported TMZ. This isn’t the first arrest of this nature to happen in the States, last month a similar incident happened during protests in New York.
Following concerns for the protester, Pittsburugh Mayor Bill Peduto addressed the matter on social media.
On Saturday he wrote:
We are aware of the arrest that was made around 500PM today. I have ordered Chief Schubert & Director Hissrich to fully examine operations taken by Pittsburgh Police and by the individual arrested. Once we have video & transcripts, we will address our citizens concerns on Sunday.
He added that constitutional rights have restrictions noting that while people have the right to assemble, the right to shut down a stress is a privilege that’s sanctioned by laws and codes.
At the news conference held by Peduto and Public Safety officials yesterday, August 16, they argued the unmarked arrest ‘the best way to do it’.
As per CBS Pittsburgh, an incident commander from Saturday said:
Watching these tactics, his refusal to cooperate and the information that we were given…we decided to effect a low visibility arrest of the individual because when high visibility stuff takes place with these marches, it tends to attract a crowd and incite them further. So we decided low visibility was the best way to do it and it also gave us the ability if he suddenly started cooperating to call the arrest off.
However, Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Shubert said:
Believe me, as a Pittsburgher and as a police officer, nobody wants to see what looks like things that happened in Portland and other areas. That is not our intent. We did not do something to try to make people frightened or not understand what was going on.
Following the controversial arrest there have been calls for Peduto to step down as Mayor. Around 200 people gathered outside his home yesterday chanting, ‘hey, hey, ho, ho, Mayor Peduto has got to go.’
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