Jewish NYC councilwoman Inna Vernikov is arraigned on firearms charges after wearing a gun on her waist while opposing pro-Palestine rally - as her lawyer questions the use of a ‘possibly altered’ social media photo as evidence in the case
Story by Aneeta Bhole For Dailymail.Com • 2h
- Republican Brooklyn councilwoman Inna Vernikov was arrested after she wore a gun on her waist while opposing a pro-Palestine rally at CUNY’s Brooklyn College
- Vernikov appeared in court in New York on Thursday but did not speak
- Her lawyer, Arthur Aidala questioned the validity of the picture of his client with the gun as evidence and demanded a ballistics report from prosecutors
A New York City councilwoman who was arrested after she wore a gun on her waist while opposing a pro-Palestine rally at CUNY’s Brooklyn College was arraigned at the Kings County Court in Brooklyn on Thursday.
Republican Brooklyn councilwoman Inna Vernikov, who is Jewish, looked stony faced in court but did not speak.
Her lawyer Arthur Aidala questioned the validity of the picture of his client taken last month as evidence and demanding a ballistics report from prosecutors.
Speaking to DailyMail.com outside court Aidala said ‘the rules of evidence are that a human being who has to make these descriptions [of a potential crime] not based on what you see on a computer screen, it’s not reliable evidence.’
‘The bottom line is this they did not have a ballistic report today so we don’t even know if the gun works’ he explained.
'First step is we have to make sure it’s an operable gun if it’s not an operable gun then it’s not a crime because it could just be a toy
Adding: ‘So they have to prove that the gun worked I’m assuming in January they’ll have a ballistics report telling us whether it’s worked and then they’ll have a witness who actually saw her with a gun.’
The judge has listed Vernikov’s next court appearance for January 24th and told her she may not carry firearms in the meantime.
Dozens of protestors waited outside of the Kings County Court on Thursday calling for Vernikov’s resignation as they demanded for a ceasefire in the war torn Middle East.
One protestor told DailyMail.com ‘It’s important that we’re coming out today making it loud and clear in the courts and across New York City that what Vernikov did was a crime she should be convicted for it, she must resign from her role as city council cause that is not any way a public official should act.’
Adding: ‘Regardless of whether it was a real gun or not you are coming in front of a school campus as a public official showing a gun that is a force of threat.’
Officials reportedly contacted her to inform her she was being charged with criminal possession of a weapon, The New York Post reported
Vernikov, 39, was released with a desk appearance ticket and ordered to surrender her gun, a Smith & Wesson 9 millimeter, as well as her concealed carry license, which she just obtained last month.
While she had a license, it is a Class E felony to bring a gun to a protest or school grounds, which are deemed ‘sensitive locations.’
‘I’m here at the pro-Hamas rally in Brooklyn college. There is a ton of police and we made sure the Jewish students feel safe today, but here they are screaming and yelling “Intifada, globalize the Intifida!”’ Vernikov said on a video from the protest posted on X.
‘If you are here today standing with these people you are nothing short of a terrorist without the bombs,’ she added.
Vernikov represents Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay and nearby neighborhoods, and sits on the Council’s Standards and Ethics Committee.