Vandal's Attorney Says Racist Remarks Are Protected By The First Amendment


A mentally ill Bronx man who allegedly wrote racist slurs on the African Burial Ground National Monument last November appeared in Manhattan Federal Court with his attorney and asked the judge to dismiss the case because the hateful words were protected by the First Amendment.

Ivan Nieves' attorney, Phil Weinstein read a Ku Klux Klan document that was littered with anti-black, and anti-Semitic remarks to Judge Ona Wang and then reminded her that in 1969 the Supreme Court had ruled the vile and racist language was protected speech and therefore the slurs his client wrote were also protected.

Judge Wang did not say whether she would dismiss the charges on Nieves but asked the mentally ill man if he would reconsider taking court-ordered mental health treatment before his scheduled April 11 trial so he would be better prepared.

According to the article published in the New York Daily News Nieves told the judge "No Comment."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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