Chris Hayes called out by NBC colleague for describing NYPD arrest as ‘kidnapping’

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes sparked pushback from an NBC News colleague by calling an arrest by undercover New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers a “kidnapping.” 

“This is…kidnapping,” the prime-time host of “All In” wrote to his more than 2.1 million Twitter followers Tuesday evening, referring to video that captured plainclothes NYPD officers taking a woman into custody in an unmarked van on Manhattan’s East Side.

Hayes’s description was challenged by NBC News correspondent Tom Winter.

“It could also be undercover detectives from a warrant squad making an arrest with probable cause for someone wanted for 5 specific crimes wearing visible weapons and vests in a car immediately surrounded by uniformed police officers with NYPD written on the back,” Winter wrote.

The NYPD on its official Twitter feed clarified what occurred after the video went viral, generating millions of views.

“In regard to a video on social media that took place at 2nd Ave & 25 Street, 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 first of two tweet from the NYPD reads.

“When officers from the Warrant Squad took the woman into custody in a gray NYPD minivan this evening, they were assaulted with rocks and bottles. The Warrant Squad uses unmarked vehicles to effectively locate wanted suspects,” the department added.


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a leading advocate for defunding the police, agreed with Hayes.

“Our civil liberties are on brink. This is not a drill,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “There is no excuse for snatching women off the street and throwing them into unmarked vans.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called on the NYPD to reinstate its anti-crime unit as the city deals with a sharp rise in crime and shootings.

“I think that a total elimination is something we need to reevaluate,” Adams, a former NYPD officer, told CBS-2 in New York. “Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white you can do whatever you want.”

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Chris Hayes MSNBC NBC New York NYPD tom winter

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