Republican Brooklyn Councilwoman Inna Vernikov faced arrest after being spotted carrying a firearm at a pro-Palestinian rally, leading to calls for her removal from office. Vernikov, who is Jewish and has previously voiced her opposition to pro-Palestinian demonstrators, was present when protesters gathered at CUNY’s Brooklyn College.
At today’s rally on Brooklyn College campus led by the students in their SJP chapter, Inna Vernikov showed up showcasing a gun to Palestinian students and their allies.— CUNY4Palestine (@Cuny4P) October 12, 2023
These are the tactics of force and intimidation used by zionist groups to silence any support for Palestine. pic.twitter.com/woQ6KGE1Gv
During the rally, police observed Vernikov with a portion of the firearm visible from the front of her pants between noon and 2:45 p.m. on Thursday. She voluntarily turned herself in to the 70th Precinct along with her lawyer shortly before 3 a.m. on Friday. She surrendered both her firearm and her permit, receiving a desk appearance ticket instead of undergoing processing.
Despite holding a concealed carry permit, it is illegal in New York state to carry a firearm at sensitive locations like protests or school premises. Vernikov was subsequently booked on a Class E felony on Friday, which carries a potential sentence of two to five years behind bars.
New York City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams condemned Vernikov’s actions, emphasizing the importance of elected officials setting an example of respecting the law. She called upon the NYPD and the Brooklyn District Attorney to handle the matter as a criminal case. The City Council initiated an investigation into the impact of Vernikov’s actions and their legal repercussions on her role within the body.
Vernikov has not yet responded to requests for comment. She shared a video on social media, criticizing those who support Hamas. While her gun was not visible in her video, other images and footage circulating on social media clearly depicted Vernikov with the handgun visible in her pants.
At @BrooklynCollege rally this afternoon with @CMFarahLouis & @KalmanYeger. If you’re standing w/ the protestors, yelling “GLOBALIZE THE INTIFADA” & “FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA, PALESTINE WILL BE FREE” while innocent women and babies are being raped, massacred and beheaded, you’re… pic.twitter.com/7ESRAGrjtb— Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (@InnaVernikov) October 12, 2023
In summary, Councilwoman Inna Vernikov’s arrest for carrying a firearm at a pro-Palestinian rally has sparked controversy and calls for her removal from office, as it is illegal in New York state to have a firearm at such events.