A man spewing racist and anti-religion epithets outside the entrance of Queens College this week was silenced by police who confiscated his megaphone and ticketed him on Thursday night.
Throughout the week, the man, who college officials said is not part of the Queens College community, yelled racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and anti-Islamic statements and conspiracy theories, oftentimes vulgar, out of a white Volkswagen near the entrance on Melbourne Avenue.
A video of the incident was shared by the nonprofit watchdog organization StopAntisemitism.org. The person who recorded the video was on campus and the yelling man is on the other side of the fence.
The person filming says, “This fellow has been sitting in front of the Queens College campus for pretty much the entire day now and nothing is being done about it … he can cause a ruckus and he can spread intimidation and fear.”
The school’s Public Safety Office attempted to engage the individual but, because he was technically off campus, agents contacted the NYPD, according to an email from Queens College Chief Diversity Officer and Dean of Diversity Jerima DeWese to the campus community, which a spokesperson shared with the Chronicle.
The email stated that officials would continue to work with the NYPD to ensure safety on campus.
“When hate speech occurs, it has effects and consequences on those who are exposed to it,” DeWese wrote in the email.
“We recognize the need to address these effects on an ongoing basis. As such, the Office of Compliance and Diversity and the Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding at QC (CERRU) will be initiating a Campus Conversation and other community forums regarding the presence and impact of hate speech when it occurs in our community.”
An earlier email from DeWese on Wednesday stated, “While we respect the First Amendment rights of all people, we thoroughly condemn hate speech and wish to make it clear that Queens College is in no way associated with such harmful rhetoric.”
The Police Department could not immediately say exactly what the charge against the man is, its press office needing more information to pinpoint the incident.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards tweeted about the event, “Students, faculty and the Queens College community shouldn’t be subjected to these anti-Semitic and racist rants. Glad to hear law enforcement addressed the issue by fining the individual and confiscating his megaphone. This behavior is vile and it won’t be tolerated in Queens.”