Prominent Ferguson activist snatched by police live on TV in Baltimore

A community organizer who led Ferguson solidarity protests was seized by riot police in full view of the media Tuesday evening, after Baltimore imposed a nightly curfew. His seizure caused much criticism in social media.

After a night of uncertainty as to what happened, Joseph Kent was confirmed to be alive and in police custody.

According to the media present at the intersection of North and Pennsylvania Avenues in West Baltimore, the focal point of Monday’s riot and Tuesday’s peaceful gathering, Kent had been working to keep the assembly calm and urging the crowd to disperse. He appeared to have been successful, as television footage showed him alone, standing off against a line of riot police.

Around 10:38pm local time, a National Guard vehicle appeared behind Kent, and several officers surged forward, seizing him, according to the footage. The vehicle shielded them from the cameras, and by the time it had passed through the police line, Kent was nowhere to be seen.

The whole thing was captured by a CNN crew, standing at the intersection filming the police line. The dramatic arrest led many observers to wonder if Kent had been “disappeared.” Twitter lit up with the hashtag #JosephKent, his seizure was described as "black-bagging," and observers noted he was never read his rights.