Black Maria

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Black Maria

a police van for transporting prisoners. The origins of the term remain uncertain. Most favoured is that it is named after a tough coloured boarding-house proprietrix, another after a racehorse of the time.
References in periodicals archive ?
Men were plucked from picket lines by snatch squads of police and thrown into the back of Black Marias like common criminals.
Three years later, police vehicles in the city became known as Black Marias.
There were five police cars, three black marias and a helicopter.
I don't mean the sort that sees beer bottles smashed and Black Marias screeching around the city centre - although anything could happen at our office party.