BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — Republican City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov has had charges dropped regarding a firearm incident at a protest. Vernikov, attending a Brooklyn College demonstration to counter pro-Palestinian protesters, aimed to support Jewish students. In a video, she condemned the protesters’ chants and accused them of supporting Hamas, labeling such support as akin to terrorism.
Images surfaced showing Vernikov with a gun in her waistband, leading to her voluntary surrender and subsequent charge for illegal firearm possession. However, the charges were dismissed when it was revealed that the gun was inoperable, lacking both ammunition and crucial components.
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
Her lawyer, Arthur Aidala, expressed relief at the resolution and highlighted Vernikov’s commitment to serving New Yorkers. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office underscored the dangers of bringing firearms to protests, emphasizing the inoperability of Vernikov’s gun as a key factor in the decision to drop charges. New York laws prohibit firearms at certain locations, including schools and public demonstrations.
The NYPD confirmed that Vernikov did not threaten or harm anyone at the protest, noting the public attention the incident garnered due to social media. Vernikov’s presence at the protest and the visible gun prompted the legal scrutiny and subsequent investigation.