Paid informant helped NYPD stop protester’s attack, unsealed docs show

Jeremy Trapp allegedly told the informant that he wished to 'harm police officers and their supporters'

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The arrest of a man protesting racial justice in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd has uncovered startling details.

A new study by the Brennan Center for Justice alleges that nationally, protests are being infiltrated by paid informants and unlawful surveillance. 

READ MORE: Bodycam footage released in fatal arrest of George Floyd

The Daily Beast is reporting that the practice was utilized in New York City by the NYPD. 

According to the report, 24-year-old Jeremy Trapp attended a demonstration outside the Brooklyn Criminal Court building. There, he met “an individual who was a confidential source for the NYPD,” an FBI affidavit described the source as a “paid informant.” 

Trapp allegedly told the informant that he wished to “harm police officers and their supporters” and that he “wanted to cut the brake lines on police cars.”

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The affidavit notes that Trapp allegedly told the informant that “he wanted to harm police officers,” and that the protests were “too non-violent.” He said that he wanted to “cut the brake lines on police cars,” and even that he wanted to burn down the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge which connects Staten Island to Brooklyn. 

The rhetoric prompted the informant to tell the police to follow Trapp, who led them to an NYPD van in Brooklyn. The man crawled under the vehicle to cut the brake line. He was unaware that he was being filmed by the informant. He was later arrested at his home in Brooklyn. 

This is not only happening in New York.

According to the report, police have infiltrated protests in North Dakota where an officer posed as a protester, photographed activists, and even yelled, “f**k the police.” 

READ MORE: NYPD issuing more outdoor drinking tickets to Black and brown New Yorkers

The Texas Department of Public Safety has said law enforcement is embedding undercover agents to try to catch infiltrators and arrest them to try to keep protesters safe and let protesters exercise their Constitutional right to demonstrate.

Related to the case, activists are happy that the man was caught. However, they expressed concerns that paid informants could also be acting as “agents provocateur” and adding to chaos during peaceful protests. 

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