Violent Offender and Fugitive Convicted of Threatening to Kill Congressman
Kenneth Brown: “I will find someone to assassinate that piece of shit. Jerry Nadler is going to be assassinated.”
An Iowa man is going to prison for threatening to kill Jerry Nadler, who represents Lower Manhattan in Congress. Federal prosecutors in Iowa (who have jurisdiction, because that is the location from which the threat was made) have announced that Kenneth Brown, aged 57, has been sentenced to 15 months of imprisonment, plus an additional subsequent three years of supervised release, arising from a 2019 phone call he placed to Mr. Nadler’s office in Washington. During this call, Mr. Brown spoke with a member of Mr. Nadler’s staff and said, “I will find someone to assassinate that piece of shit you work for. Jerry Nadler is going to be assassinated.”
This call was placed on December 18, the day that the House of Representatives voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump (the first of two such attempts), on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. Mr. Nadler, as chair of the House’s Judiciary Committee, had overseen the drafting of these Articles of Impeachment. He was also designated as one of the House managers (the equivalent of prosecuting attorneys) for Mr. Trump’s trial in the Senate, during which the President was acquitted by the Republican majority in a party-line vote.
After a year-long joint probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Capitol Police, Mr. Brown pleaded guilty on December 4, 2020 to a single count of transmitting a threatening communication using interstate commerce. His threat to Mr. Nadler was deemed credible, in part, because Mr. Brown appears to be no stranger to violence—both actual and threatened. In 1996, he was convicted of inflicting injury on a spouse and threatening to commit a crime to terrorize the victim. In 2005, he was convicted of two counts of aggravated battery against a household member using a deadly weapon. In that case, Mr. Brown was alleged to have restrained a woman against her will and used a knife to hurt the victim in a way that caused or could have caused the victim great bodily harm. In 2010, a warrant was issued for Brown’s arrest, because he had violated the terms of his probation. According to a federal prosecutors, Mr. Brown then fled to Mexico, because he knew there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. He was ultimately arrested in 2017, and sentenced to almost a year in prison.
These developments follow the April 28 conviction (by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn) of Brendan Hunt, on charges of threatening to assault and murder members of the United States Congress, and threatening to retaliate against these elected officials on account of performance of their official duties. Mr. Hunt (who spent several weeks camped out in the Financial District’s Zuccotti Park in September, 2011, as part of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement) first came to the attention of federal authorities two days after the January 6 riot in Washington, during which supporters of Mr. Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, in an attempt to prevent Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election from being officially certified.
On January 8, 2021, Mr. Hunt (who called himself “X-Ray Ultra” in online postings) posted to BitChute—a hosting service known as a magnet for far-right extremists and conspiracy theorists, as well for hosting hateful content—a video with the title, “Kill Your Senators,” which included the exhortation, “Slaughter Them All.” In that video, Mr. Hunt urged his viewers to violent action: “we need to go back to the U.S. Capitol when all of the Senators and a lot of the Representatives are back there, and this time we have to show up with our guns. And we need to slaughter these motherfuckers.” Mr. Hunt also advocated the violent overthrow of the federal government, claiming that “our government at this point is basically a handful of traitors… so what you need to do is take up arms, get to D.C., probably the inauguration… [the] so-called inauguration of this mother-fucking communist Joe Biden. That’s probably the best time to do this, get your guns, show up to D.C., and literally just spray these motherfuckers… put some bullets in their fucking heads.”
On that video, Mr. Hunt added a request: “If anybody has a gun, give me it, I’ll go there myself and shoot them and kill them… We have to take out these Senators and then replace them with actual patriots.” He also alleged that the United States is being led by, “a Zionist Occupied Government.” Further investigation showed that Mr. Hunt had downloaded multiples tracts espousing violent white supremacist and anti-Semitic views, including Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and the manifesto written by Dylan Roof, the perpetrator of the 2015 Charleston church shooting, in which nine African-Americans were killed.
Once federal investigators began inquiring into Mr. Hunt’s online activities, they uncovered a broad range of posts stretching back more than a month on various social media platforms, threatening Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives; Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer; and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
During his week-long jury trial, Mr. Hunt testified as a witness for his defense, arguing that his online statements were not meant to be taken seriously, especially given the context of extremist online rhetoric. He also claimed that drug use and depression were factors in his conduct. The jury, which deliberated for only three hours before returning a guilty verdict, appeared to be unconvinced. Mr. Hunt is slated to be sentenced on June 22. He is facing up to ten years in jail.
EYES TO THE SKY
June 14 – 27, 2021
Milky Way of summer stars with streaming fireflies
As evening twilight deepens, a cosmos of blinking earthly stars attracts and mesmerizes stargazers in areas a distance from street and house lights. Fireflies are connecting our joy in the celestial with breathtaking wonder close around us. In the dark, over gardens, parks, backyards and countryside meadows and forests, our attention is lured away from the starry heavens by undulating streams of countless fireflies flashing. Floating, glowing ribbons of curved light drop from the treetops and move above the ground.
Unaware of time, I find myself alternately looking up to my favorite summer constellations, then stealing time to lower my eyes to the pulsating world of lightening bugs in the landscape all around me. Close above the west-northwest skyline, planet Venus makes a brief appearance at dusk today and is visible until nightfall by next week.
June 14 (similar 6/15) sky map. Begin to look at dusk, about 9:15pm, when brilliant planet Venus shines above the west-northwest skyline. Bright Capella far right. Venus sets at about 10pm. Illustration: Judy Isacoff/StarryNight7
As twilight deepens, look to the young crescent moon. Below the crescent, rather dim, copper-yellow Mars glows to the left of Pollux and Castor, the setting Gemini pair. Find the Big Dipper at the top of the sky. A drop of golden starlight falls from the tip of its handle: it is Arcturus, the brightest star in the summer sky, suspended toward the south.
June 24, 2021 at 10m. The purple arc represents the Milky Way running through the Summer Triangle and Scorpius the Scorpion. Looking Southeast to Southwest, map current June 14 – 27, except for changing moon phase and location. Diagram: Judy Isacoff / StarryNight7
Summer Solstice arrives at 11:32pm EDT on June 20. On that day, turn to the northeast to greet the rising Sun at 5:25am, then to the northwest for sunset at 8:31pm. Full Moon occurs at 2:40pm.on the 24th, when moonrise is at 8:53pm.
In closing, click here to play a most engaging little film that conveys the delight and mystery evoked by fireflies and deepened by Sara Lewis in Silent Sparks, the Wondrous World of Fireflies.
Exercise in disguise! Join in on the fun featuring easy-to-follow Latin dance choreography while working on your balance, coordination and range of motion. Come prepared for enthusiastic instruction, a little strength training, and a lot of fun. Participants are expected to bring their own equipment: weights, water bottle, hand towel, etc. Masks required. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance. Free
During trying times, music stills our souls and provides a healing grace. Throughout the season of Lent, Comfort at One will present performances that are inspired by the Gandhi quote: “In the midst of darkness, light persists.” These concerts include improvisations by Julian Wachner, light-inspired Bach cantatas, our 2014 Lenten “Lamentatio” series featuring NOVUS NY and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, new performances from the Trinity Youth Chorus and St. Paul’s Chapel Choir, and new virtual content on Fridays from our extended family of artists. Free
Community Board 1’s Waterfront, Parks & Cultural Committee
‘A Few Affordable Units in Fancy Developments Are Not The Answer’
City Council Hopeful Maud Maron Hold Forth on Ferries, Congestion Pricing, and Housing
Attorney Maud Maron is a veteran public defender, who also serves as an elected member of the Community Education Council that gives parents a voice in the governance of public schools in District Two, which includes Lower Manhattan. Ms. Maron Maud has served on the board of Greenwich Village Little League, and was a member of Community Board 2 for five years. The Broadsheet asked her to reflect on a series of issues that are of concern to Lower Manhattan residents. Here are Ms. Maron’s answers.
‘We Can’t Create Governance Structures That Box Out Residents’
City Council Candidate Christopher Marte Outlines His Priorities
Christopher Marte grew up on the Lower East Side, where his father owned a bodega. From a young age, he began building a record as a community activist, culminating in a City Council run in 2017, which he lost by only a few hundred votes. Since then, Mr. Marte has played a leading role on local issues such as opposition to the de Blasio administration’s plan for a large new prison facility in Lower Manhattan, and support for affordable housing. The Broadsheet asked him to address a range of issues that are of concern to Lower Manhattan residents.
‘There Are Fundamental Issues That Need To Be Addressed’
City Council Candidate Gigi Li Talks about What She Hopes to Accomplish in Office
Gigi Li is one of the candidates seeking the City Council seat representing Lower Manhattan is, which is currently held by Margaret Chin (who is barred by term limits from seeking reelection). Ms. Li was born in Hong Kong and emigrated to the United States as a small child. In 2009, she was appointed to Manhattan’s Community Board 3, on the Lower East Side, where she became the first Asian-American to be elected to serve as a community board chair (anywhere in New York City) in 2012. Since 2019, Ms. Li has served as chief of staff to Ms. Chin. The Broadsheet asked her to address a range of issues that are of concern to Lower Manhattan residents. To read more…
River to River Festival Is Back:
Don’t Miss These 5 Acts
Photo courtesy of Damon Davis
As we come out of covid, it’s clear the city’s thriving cultural scene is on its way back — and Lower Manhattan’s leading the way.
In May, the Downtown Alliance teamed up with En Garde Arts and + The Tankto present Downtown Live, a multi-weekend festival stocked with live performances ranging from music to theater to spoken poetry. The revival of Downtown’s cultural scene continues into June, with the return of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s River to River Festival.
The festival, which runs June 10–June 27, joins the explosion of post-vaccine outdoor events and art exhibits that are set to take over the city this summer. Here are five acts you won’t want to miss, and visit lmcc.net/river-to-river-festival for the full schedule.
Processions with Miguel Gutierrez, Okwui Okpokwasili and The Illustrious Blacks
(June 20, 25)
Artist Okwui Okpokwasili is following up her recent piece on the High Line called “On the way, undone” with another processional performance, which means you get to participate in the art. Okpokwasili’s performance will happen at Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City on June 20, followed by processions led by choreographer Gutierrez and musical duo the Illustrious Blacks will also conduct processions on June 13 and June 25.
Kamau Ware, Land of the Blacks (June 10-27)
Black history scholar and co-found of Black Gotham Experience Kamau Ware is writing an original piece on “Land of the Blacks,” 28 Black-owned farmsteads that once covered a swath of Lower Manhattan. It will debut on the River to River website.
Womxn in Windows (June 15-27)
Womxn in Windows is a multi-part video installation installed in Windows across the Seaport District. They’ll focus on the confluence of culture and society in an exploration of the multi-faceted female identity, created by artists from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Mariana Valencia, Futurity (June 25-27)
Choreographer and performer Mariana Valencia brings a 2021 version of Futurity, a dance performance that will transmit the queer stories of elders in Greenwich Village from the 1960s to the present.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
The Battery Park City Authority asks that the public not interact with or feed the urban wildlife in the neighborhood’s parks and green spaces, and at the waterfront.
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Report
More Survivors than Responders Now are Submitting Claims
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released its annual report for 2020, which documents some significant developments.
Over the course of its ten years of operation thus far, the VCF has awarded $7.76 billion to more than 34,400 individuals who have suffered death or personal injury as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. The vast majority of these injuries take the form of illness caused by exposure to toxic materials that were released by the destruction of the World Trade Center.
904 – A fire aboard the steamboat SS General Slocum in the East River killed more than 1,000 people.
763 BC – Assyrians record a solar eclipse that is later used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history.
1215 – King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta.
1300 – The city of Bilbao is founded
1389 – Battle of Kosovo: The Ottoman Empire defeats Serbs and Bosnians.
1502 – Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Martinique on his fourth voyage.
1520 – Pope Leo X threatens to excommunicate Martin Luther in papal bull Exsurge Domine.
1648 – Margaret Jones is hanged in Boston for witchcraft in the first such execution for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1667 – The first human blood transfusion is administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.
1752 – Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is electricity (traditional date, the exact date is unknown).
1775 – American Revolutionary War: George Washington is appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
1785 – Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, co-pilot of the first-ever manned flight (1783), and his companion, Pierre Romain, become the first-ever casualties of an air crash when their hot air balloon explodes during their attempt to cross the English Channel.
1844 – Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.
1878 – Eadweard Muybridge takes a series of photographs to prove that all four feet of a horse leave the ground when it runs; the study becomes the basis of motion pictures.
1888 – Crown Prince Wilhelm becomes Kaiser Wilhelm II; he will be the last Emperor of the German Empire. Due to the death of his predecessors Wilhelm I and Frederick III, 1888 is the Year of the Three Emperors.
1896 – The deadliest tsunami in Japan’s history kills more than 22,000 people.
1904 – A fire aboard the steamboat SS General Slocum in New York City’s East River kills 1,000.
1978 – King Hussein of Jordan marries American Lisa Halaby, who takes the name Queen Noor.
1985 – Rembrandt’s painting Danaë is attacked by a man (later judged insane) who throws sulfuric acid on the canvas and cuts it twice with a knife.
1991 – In the Philippines, Mount Pinatubo erupts in the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th Century. In the end, over 800 people die.
1994 – Israel and Vatican City establish full diplomatic relations.
1479 – Lisa del Giocondo, Italian model, subject of the Mona Lisa (d. 1542)
1843 – Edvard Grieg, Norwegian pianist and composer (d. 1907)
1910 – David Rose, English-American pianist, composer, and conductor (d. 1990)
1914 – Yuri Andropov, Russian politician (d. 1984)
1914 – Saul Steinberg, Romanian-American cartoonist (d. 1999)
1932 – Mario Cuomo, 52nd Governor of New York (d. 2015)
1953 – Xi Jinping, Chinese engineer and politician, General Secretary of the Communist Party and President of China
923 – Robert I of France (b. 866)
1381 – John Cavendish, English lawyer and judge (b. 1346)
1968 – Wes Montgomery, American guitarist and songwriter (Montgomery Brothers) (b. 1925)
1993 – James Hunt, English race car driver and sportscaster (b. 1947)
2003 – Hume Cronyn, Canadian-American actor and producer (b. 1911)