DA to dismiss felony charges against Jewish Republican NYC councilwoman caught on camera carrying gun at ‘pro-Hamas rally’

News & Politics

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office will dismiss felony gun charges against Jewish Republican New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov after she was caught on camera carrying a gun at what she called a “pro-Hamas rally” at a college campus last month.

What are the details?

Vernikov’s gun was unloaded and “inoperable” — missing the “recoil spring assembly” that allows it to fire bullets — when the NYPD recovered it, the DA’s office said Friday, according to the New York Post.

“In order to sustain this charge, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the weapon in question was capable of firing bullets,” Brooklyn DA spokesman Oren Yaniv said in a statement, the paper said. “Absent such proof, we have no choice but to dismiss these charges.”

Vernikov has a concealed carry permit, but the Post said it’s illegal in New York state to carry a gun at sensitive locations such as protests or on school grounds.

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What’s the background?

Vernikov has spoken out against Palestinian supporters and attended an Oct. 12 rally on the campus of CUNY’s Brooklyn College, the paper reported in a previous story. Police sources told the Post that Vernikov was seen “with the butt-end of a firearm … protruding from the front portion of her pants” during the protest between noon and 2:45 p.m.

Police were soon notified, WNBC reported, adding that the NYPD contacted Vernikov after she departed the rally. The sources added to the Post that Vernikov, accompanied by her attorney, turned herself in to police just before 3 a.m. Oct. 13.

Vernikov, 39, was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm, the station said. Sources told the Post that she surrendered her gun and her firearm permit — and received a desk appearance ticket instead of going through processing.

“At no point in time was anyone menaced or injured as a result of her possessing the firearm at the earlier protest,” police sources also told the paper.

Vernikov shared on social media a video of herself at the rally:

In the video, Vernikov called the rally “pro-Hamas” and said rally-goers are “nothing short of terrorists without the bombs.” She also said she’s there to help “Jewish students feel safe.”

Vernikov’s felony charge is expected to be formally dismissed at her next court appearance on Jan. 24, the Post said.

NYC councilwoman had gun at pro-Palestinian rally: NYPDyoutu.be

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