View Full Version : Bronx man found guilty of racist African Burial Ground vandalism

The Bobster
11-20-2018, 07:41 AM

Man arrested for vandalizing African burial ground
By Stephanie Pagones
November 20, 2018 | 10:30am

A Bronx man was busted for allegedly scrawling a racist message at a landmark African burial ground near City Hall, authorities said Tuesday.

Ivan Nieves, 57, was nabbed on an arrest warrant around 7 a.m. at his Bronx home by the Department of Homeland Security :confused:, alongside Federal Protective Service :confused:, US Parks Police :confused: :confused: and the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force :confused:, US Parks Police Sgt. Richard Firrito told the Post.

The hateful message — which allegedly read “kill n—-s” — was scribbled on an on a information stanchion at the African Burial Ground National Historic Monument shortly before noon on Nov. 1, police said at the time.

Nieves was charged with vandalism and disorderly conduct, Firrito said. Federal prosecutors decided against charging Nieves with a hate crime, though the reason wasn’t immediately clear.

He is due to appear in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.

“HATE HAS NO PLACE IN NYC – An arrest has been made for the hate crime vandalism to the African Burial Ground Nat’l Monument in lower Manhattan. In collaboration w/ the Hate Crimes Task Force, Nat’l Park Police & Federal Protective Service, @DHSgov has arrested Ivan Nieves, 57,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea tweeted Tuesday morning.

The Bobster
03-20-2019, 09:06 AM

Alleged African Burial Ground vandal says First Amendment protects his racist writings
By Andrew Denney
March 19, 2019 | 7:35pm


Attorneys for a Bronx man who was busted last year for writing a vile :rolleyes:, racist message on a signpost at the African Burial Ground National Monument near City Hall admit that their client’s words were “vile, racist and reprehensible” — but maintain they were protected by the First Amendment.

Ivan Nieves, 57, has moved to dismiss the vandalism and disorderly conduct charges against him, arguing both that his speech is protected and that his offensive message was written in magic marker and quickly removed, and thus it would be a stretch to say that he defaced federal property, as prosecutors allege.

Nieves’ attorneys concede that, on Nov. 1, their client walked up to a signpost at the monument, pulled out a marker and wrote “Kill N—–.” :D But they say that a person walking behind Nieves spotted the epithet and alerted law enforcement :mad: and the message was quickly erased. :mad:

In court filings, prosecutors argue that Nieves’ actions were prohibited under the federal disorderly conduct statute :rolleyes: and that courts have found that speech “aimed at intimidating a group of people and instilling a fear of violence” doesn’t get First Amendment protection. :rolleyes:

Nieves is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Manhattan on Wednesday morning to argue for dismissal of his charges.

The Bobster
04-12-2019, 02:17 PM

Bronx man found guilty of racist African Burial Ground vandalism
By Andrew Denney
April 11, 2019 | 7:26pm | Updated April 11, 2019 | 11:44pm


A federal judge has found a Bronx man guilty of vandalism for writing a racist message with a black marker on a signpost at the African Burial Ground National Monument near City Hall.

On the morning of Nov. 1, Ivan Nieves, 57, of the Bronx, strolled by the monument and wrote “Kill N——” on an informational sign entitled “A Place of Remembrance.” :p

But while Magistrate Judge Ona Wang found Nieves guilty of vandalism, she found the Bronx man not guilty of the disorderly conduct charge against him. :D

Wang did not provide an explanation as to why she found Nieves guilty of one count and not the other, but federal prosecutors argued that Nieves should also be convicted of disorderly conduct because he wrote the message at a public monument with the intent to cause violence against African Americans.

“He didn’t write these words on a bathroom stall,” said Jacob Fiddelman, a prosecutor who fought the government’s case.

Wang delivered the verdict after a one-day bench trial that included testimony from three witnesses and video clips captured by surveillance cameras at the site.

Michael Diaz, an NYPD hate crimes detective who investigated the case, testified at the trial that investigators were able to identify Nieves with the help of grainy surveillance videos in the area and by interviewing Nieves’ sister, who works at an office right next to the monument and who met with Nieves and lent him money just before he wrote on the sign.

Prior to the trial, Nieves’ attorneys argued unsuccessfully that the charges should be dropped because his “vile, racist and reprehensible” message was protected speech.

The burial ground was used for the interment of African slaves who lived and died in New York in the 17th and 18th centuries. The site was all but forgotten for centuries until 1991, when plans were drawn up to construct a federal office building at the site and human remains were unearthed during an archaeological dig.

President George W. Bush dedicated the site as a national monument in 2006. :mad: