Prosecutors said a 19-year-old suspect committed hate crimes in tearing down pro-Israel posters at Columbia University and hitting an Israeli student with stick last week.
What are the details?
Maxwell Friedman, who uses she/her pronouns, was charged with second- and third-degree assault as hate crimes in connection with the 6:10 p.m. Wednesday attack against a 24-year-old male student in front of Butler Library on the Morningside Heights campus, the New York Post reported, citing the criminal complaint and a police account.
The victim — who spoke to the Columbia Daily Spectator but identified himself only as “I.A.” — was part of a group posting flyers on campus about the number of Israeli casualties in the wake of Hamas’ deadly sneak attack, the Post said, citing the court document.
Friedman began tearing down and ripping the posters before allegedly hollering at the group, the paper said.
“F*** you. F*** all you prick crackers. I disrespected you. What are you going to do about it? Do you want to talk about it like adults?” Friedman said, according to the Daily Spectator, which cited the complaint. “If you have a problem, we can deal with it right now, fam. Pussies.”
Friedman then shoved the victim and struck him with a hard wooden object that appeared to be a broomstick, the Post said.
The Daily Spectator identified the suspect as Malaika Friedman — not Maxwell Friedman, as the Post called the suspect.
Assistant District Attorney Alberto Gomez, who said part of the attack was recorded on video, pushed for the highest level of supervised release to ensure that Friedman – who lives in Brooklyn but has family out of state – returns to court, the Post reported.
Judge Soma Syed agreed to a lower level of supervised release, the Post noted.
Friedman also was charged with aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon, the Post said, citing the complaint.
Undergraduate school deans Josef Sorett, Shih-Fu Chang, and Lisa Rosen-Metsch called the incident an example of “intimidation and outright violence” in a Thursday statement to students, the Daily Spectator said.
The deans’ statement also said “the atmosphere on campus is extremely charged and many are concerned for their personal safety,” the Daily Spectator said.
Friedman’s next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 28, the Daily Spectator also noted.
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