BROOKLYN COLLEGE–Councilwoman Inna Vernikov was charged on Nov. 2 with one criminal possession of a firearm after being spotted open-carrying a pistol at the Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Club’s protest held on Oct. 12 in photos posted on social media.
Vernikov turned herself in and surrendered her firearm a day after the protest. She now faces one count of criminal possession of a firearm near “sensitive locations,” which includes schools and protests, under new legislation passed last year. The charge is a low-level class E felony. If convicted, she would have to resign from City Council, as per the state’s Public Officers law. In a criminal complaint filed against her, NYPD officers found a gun in her home that resembled the one in the photos, according to NY Daily News.
Protesters outside the courtroom on Thursday called for the Councilwoman’s resignation. As they picketed outside, they chanted “Vernikov, you can’t hide; you’re supporting genocide,” according to Brooklyn Paper. Vernikov, a Republican representing New York City’s 48th District, which includes neighborhoods in southern Brooklyn, won re-election, beating out Amber Adler (D) and Igor Kazatsker (R).