NYC lawmaker arrested after bringing a gun to protest at Brooklyn College

Oct 13, 2023, 8:29 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — A pro-Israel lawmaker in New York City was arrested Friday for bringing a handgun to a student demonstration supporting Palestinians.

Inna Vernikov, a Republican member of the City Council, was seen in photos and videos with the butt of a pistol jutting out from her waistband while attending a student protest at Brooklyn College, according to the New York Police Department.

She turned herself in on Friday morning, was charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon and released.

Vernikov, who obtained a license last month to carry a concealed weapon, surrendered her firearm following the arrest, police said.

Under New York law, licensed gun owners may not bring weapons to certain sensitive locations, including protests and school grounds. The state requires people licensed to carry handguns to keep them hidden from public view.

Vernikov did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. The phone at her district office in Brooklyn rang unanswered Friday. A message left at her City Council office in Manhattan wasn’t immediately returned.

New York City’s public university system has seen a wave of dueling protests in recent days following the Hamas attack on Israel and escalating war in Gaza.

Top elected officials, including New York City Mayor and New York Governor Kathy Hochul, have condemned the pro-Palestinian demonstrations, which they have labeled as a celebration of Hamas.

The deepening tensions have also coincided with attacks, including at least two assaults on people holding Palestinian flags, according to New York police. A separate investigation has been launched into two young boys who allegedly pointed fake guns at a Brooklyn synagogue.

Vernokiv, who is Jewish and grew up in Ukraine, has been among the most outspoken opponents of Palestinian activists, describing the protesters as “terrorists” while accusing them of making Jewish students feel unsafe.

Nerdeen Kiswani, a Palestinian activist and CUNY law school graduate, said the lawmaker’s actions were an extension of citywide rhetoric that dehumanizes Palestinian concerns and stifles dissent.

“She falsely accuses us of being antisemitic then shows up to a rally brandishing a gun,” Kiswana added. “Who is really making us unsafe?”

Vernikov will have to return to court at a later date.

United States News

Associated Press

The House is on the brink of approving aid for Ukraine and Israel after months of struggle

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is working through a rare Saturday session to approve $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies, Democrats and Republicans joining together behind the legislation after a grueling monthslong fight over renewed American support for repelling Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. Before the voting, the House began […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

The Senate passes a reauthorization of a key US surveillance program just after a midnight deadline

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barely missing its midnight deadline, the Senate voted early Saturday to reauthorize a key U.S. surveillance law after divisions over whether the FBI should be restricted from using the program to search for Americans’ data nearly forced the statute to lapse. The legislation approved 60-34 with bipartisan support would extend for two […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Soar, slide, splash? It’s skiers’ choice as spring’s wacky pond skimming tradition returns

GILFORD, N.H. (AP) — A costumed skier races down a slope, hits a pond and hydroplanes halfway across. He pirouettes and then plunges into the icy water before jumping up and waving to the cheering crowd. It’s the wacky spring tradition of pond skimming, and it’s happening this month at ski resorts across the country. […]

12 hours ago

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

14 hours ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

16 hours ago

Associated Press

Idaho group says it is exploring a ballot initiative for abortion rights and reproductive care

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A new Idaho organization says it will ask voters to restore abortion access and other reproductive health care rights in the state after lawmakers let a second legislative session end without modifying strict abortion bans that have been blamed for a recent exodus of health care providers. “We have not been […]

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

NYC lawmaker arrested after bringing a gun to protest at Brooklyn College