<![CDATA[NBC New York - Local News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usTue, 27 Sep 2016 12:04:32 -0400Tue, 27 Sep 2016 12:04:32 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Firefighter Dead, 12 Hurt When Suspected Drug Den Explodes]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:46:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bronx-explosion-fahy-inset.jpg

An FDNY battalion chief was killed by falling debris when a suspected drug den exploded in the Bronx Tuesday, leveling a two-story home and injuring at least 12 other people.  

Battalion Chief Michael Fahy was a 17-year FDNY veteran and father of three.

"He was on the rise. He was a star," a visibly emotional FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told a news conference, adding that he knew Fahy's father - a former fire chief himself - personally.

"It's a sad day. Thankfully, this doesn't happen every day, but when it does, it doesn't make it any easier. We lost a hero today," Nigro said.

Multiple police, civilians and Con Ed workers were injured following the 7:30 a.m. blast at the private home on West 234th Street near Tibbett Avenue in Kingsbridge. About an hour before the explosion, firefighters had responded to a report of a gas smell at the location and found the drug lab, police say. 

A law enforcement source tells NBC 4 New York officials believe the home was a marijuana growing operation. Flammable materials like propane are used to manufacture the drug, but the alleged pot growhouse would be the first such drug lab to blow up in the city, the law enforcement source said. 

The NYPD had an ongoing investigation on that block over the last two weeks, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.

After the FDNY found the suspected lab, it called the NYPD in to investigate but the house exploded before officers could assess the location, according to police. Correspondence on emergency radio revealed immediate concern.

"We got men down ... with an explosion," a firefighter told a dispatcher, requesting multiple ambulances on a rush. "We got a man down ... firefighter down ... bad shape."

Streets were shut down in the area as utility crews, firefighters and police cordoned off the site. Video from the scene shows the home completely demolished, the roof in shambles, partially collapsed over one of the building's sides. Piles of debris rained onto the street, covering the road and nearby parked cars. 

One Instagram user said the blast "shook my whole neighborhood," adding it "felt like a bomb went off." Another neighbor said her windows shook. Still another said she felt as if there had been an earthquake.  

A photo taken from the 238th Street subway platform showed a plume of smoke rising into the air. 

The DEA was assisting the NYPD in the investigation. 

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<![CDATA[Christie Aide: He Knew all About Bridge Closings]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 12:00:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/gwb+indictments.jpg

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about George Washington Bridge lane closings in Fort Lee as they were happening, longtime Christie aide David Wildstein testified publicly for the first time Tuesday.

Pictures of Christie, Wildstein and Bill Baroni were taken the morning of Sept. 11, 2013 at the World Trade Center memorial site. It was there that Wildstein claimed he and Baroni bragged to the governor about the traffic nightmare the lane closures caused - and their refusal to answer phone calls from Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich, who declined to endorse Christie's reelection.

Wildstein, testifying at the criminal trial of Baroni and Christie aide Bridget Kelly, claims the governor also told his Port Authority appointees not to communicate with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop - who also refused to endorse the governor.

Wildstein has pleaded guilty in the scheme to tie up traffic at the bridge.

Baroni was Wildstein's boss at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that operates the bridges, airports and other facilities including the World Trade Center. Kelly was Christie's deputy chief of staff and headed an office responsible for outreach to county and municipal officials.

They are accused of reducing access lanes to the bridge and face fraud, conspiracy and civil rights charges. They have pleaded not guilty and have said the government has twisted federal law to turn their actions into crimes. They also have said other people with more power and influence were involved in the lane closures but aren't being prosecuted.

Christie has denied knowing about the bridge scheme until well after it was carried out, and a taxpayer-funded report he commissioned absolved him of wrongdoing. He hasn't been charged.

Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cop Held on $500K Bail in Off-Duty Road Rage Shooting Death]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:51:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/off-duty-cop-0704.jpg

The off-duty NYPD cop who allegedly shot and killed a driver in a fit of road-rage in Brooklyn this summer was held on $500,000 bail at his arraignment on murder charges Tuesday.

Officer Wayne Isaacs will also have to forfeit his U.S. and Guyanses passports and any firearms he owns as his case moves forward. 

A Brooklyn grand jury Monday indicted 37-year-old Isaacs in the July 4 shooting, following an investigation by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. 

Isaacs allegedly shot and killed Delrawn Small from his car on July 4 on an East New York Street after Small got out of his vehicle and approached Isaacs at a stoplight. Small believed Isaacs had cut him off, his girlfriend said.  

Isaacs' lawyer maintained his client's innocence in court Tuesday, claiming when Small approached Issacs' car he "wasn't coming to give him best wishes and salutations."

Prosecutors argued the shooting was a "brutal, deliberate act" with no legal justification.  

Isaacs is the first cop to be charged by Schneiderman under his role as special prosecutor for all police killings of civilians in New York, according to The New York Post, which first reported the indictment. Schneiderman was assigned as special prosecutor by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the wake of Eric Garner's chokehold death. 

Initially, police said Small had punched Isaacs before the gunfire erupted. But a security camera video that surfaced later cast doubt on that account by appearing to show Small getting shot the instant he reached the officer's car.

Isaacs had his badge and gun taken away.

The police union representing Isaacs has declined to comment.

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<![CDATA[Salmon Recalled After Listeria Found in Floor Drains, Cracks]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:19:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/salmon+recall+update.jpg

A Westchester County company is recalling two types of smoked salmon over concerns they may be contaminated with Listeria, which can cause serious and sometimes deadly infections in young children and the elderly. 

The products -- whole and sliced Atlantic Smoked Salmon -- were produced by Mt Kisco Smokehouse and distributed to retail stores and restaurants in New York and Connecticut between Sept. 6 and Sept. 16, federal officials said.

Production was suspended after a routine FDA inspection revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in floor drains and cracks at the smokehouse, federal officials say. It will remain suspended until federal officials and the company identify the source of the problem. 

The affected whole product, delivered to restaurants, is packed in an unlabeled paper box. The affected sliced product is sold in a clear plastic package, labeled on the back with lot and use by date.  

Atlantic Smoked Salmon Whole
lot # 13723516 USE BY 09 12 16
lot # 12125316 USE BY 09 30 16 

Sliced – Smoked ATLANTIC SALMON, Net Wt. 8 Oz (225.89)
lot # 12125116 USE BY 09 28 16
lot # 12125216 USE BY 09 29 16
lot # 11325716 USE BY 10 03 16
lot # 11325816 USE BY 10 05 16

No illnesses have been reported to date. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. 

Young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to dangerous infection. 

Consumers who purchased the recalled salmon from a store is urged to return it for a full refund. Anyone with questions may contact the company at 914-244-0702, Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. 

    Photo Credit: Handout]]>
    <![CDATA[Tom Hanks Photobombs Newlyweds in Central Park]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:41:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tom+hanks+bombs+photo+shoot.jpg

    A man and woman were getting their wedding photos taken in Central Park over the weekend when Tom Hanks dropped in — an unforgettable moment that was captured by New York-based studio First Day Films and photographer Meg Miller.

    The Academy-Award winning actor was out for a jog in the park Saturday afternoon when he spotted Elizabeth and Ryan getting their photos taken by Miller.

    “Hi, I’m Tom Hanks,” the actor said as he walked up to the shocked couple.

    “Can we get a photo with you?” Elizabeth asked.

    “By all means,” Hanks said, kissing her hand. “We can do that right here.”

    The three of them posed for photos and took selfies together.

    “Ryan, you’re a lucky man,” Hanks said. “Elizabeth, you’ve done well for yourself.”

    In Miller's video, Hanks even offers to officiate their wedding.

    “You know, I am an ordained minister. If the guy cancels let me know.”

    Last year, Hanks got ordained to preside over the wedding of actress Allison Williams, according to E! News.

    After a few more photos and congrats, Hanks went off into the park to finish his jog.

    The actor took to his Instagram on Sunday and posted one of the selfies the three took together with the caption: “Elizabeth and Ryan! Congrats and blessings! Hanx.”

    Photo Credit: First Day Films/@firstdayfilms
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    <![CDATA[Dead 6-Year-Old Manhattan Boy Had Bruises, Head Contusion]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:42:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ER-emergency-generic.jpg

    Authorities are investigating the death of a 6-year-old boy who was taken to a Manhattan hospital with bruises on his body and a contusion to the head. 

    Police say the boy's mother took the unconscious child from their home on West 135th Street to St. Luke's Monday afternoon. The boy, identified as Zymere Perkins, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

    No arrests have been made.

    <![CDATA[Cops Shoot Suspect in Arm in Brooklyn]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:52:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/police+involved+shooting+bk+tuesday.jpg

    A suspect was shot by police in Brooklyn Tuesday morning, authorities say. 

    The circumstances surrounding the shooting on Tompkins Avenue shortly before 9 a.m. weren't immediately clear. The suspect was shot in the arm. 

    He was taken to a hospital in stable condition. 

    No other injuries were reported.

    A nearby elementary schoool was locked down as a precaution while authorities investigated. The lockdown was later lifted, and all students and faculty were safe, the Department of Education said in a statement.  

    Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
    <![CDATA[Pill Addiction Fueling Robberies on Elderly: Police]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:53:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/elderlyrobberybronxfeuerherd.jpg

    Authorities are searching for a thief who snatched a purse from a 73-year-old Bronx woman, and police warn it's just the latest in a string of robberies against the elderly driven by the prescription pill drug trade.

    Police say the man approached the woman in the Morrisania section of the Bronx and grabbed her purse with $50 inside of it. 

    Police are investigating whether or not this robbery is connected to a number of robberies on the elderly in the city driven by prescription pill addiction.  

    Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
    <![CDATA[Voters View Debate at Watch Parties Across Tri-State]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 01:20:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/watch+parties.jpg Trump and Clinton supporters, and voters who are still on the fence, watched the debate at parties across the tri-state. Andrew Siff reports from Hofstra University and Ida Siegal reports from Harlem.]]> <![CDATA[Top Tweets on the 1st Presidential Debate]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 07:17:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP+-+Hofstra+Debate+16+sized.jpg

    Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump didn't hold back during the first debate of the 2016 general election. Because most viewers have a habit of watching through a second (and third) screen, Twitter feeds were equally intriguing. Here are some top reactions to Clinton and Trump’s grueling debate.

    Photo Credit: AP
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    <![CDATA[NYPD: Man Made Anti-White Statements Before Chelsea Slashing]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 02:42:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bodega+assault.jpg

    A man made racist comments about white people before attacking another man with a box cutter at a bodega in Manhattan, the NYPD says.

    The 40-year-old victim was in front of the Empire Deli at 245 Ninth Avenue in Chelsea on Friday evening when the suspect attacked.

    Police said the suspect made anti-white statements to the man before he pulled out a box cutter and slashed him on his left wrist.

    Surveillance video from the deli shows the suspect lunging at the victim as the victim puts his arms up.

    Police say the 30-something-year-old suspect took off out of the store after the slashing.

    The NYPD asks anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

    <![CDATA[Storm Team 4]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 13:55:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/StormTeam4_1B.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Crime and Courts]]> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:40:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gavel.jpg

    Photo Credit: Martin Poole /Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Tom Hanks Photobombs Couple's Wedding Shoot in Central Park]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:51:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tom+hanks+wedding+photobomb.jpg A delighted couple was more than happy to have their Central Park wedding shoot crashed by the star of "Sully." Photos provided to NBC 4 New York by Meg Miller.

    Photo Credit: Meg Miller of Meg Miller Photography - NYC based Photographer]]>
    <![CDATA[Beauty Consultant Dies After Five-Story Rooftop Plunge]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:44:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/227*120/womanfallfeuerherd.jpg

    A 27-year-old woman plummeted five stories to her death from the ledge of a Hell's Kitchen roof Sunday, police said.

    Elena Gladkikh, an independent senior beauty consultant with Mary Kay, was sitting on the rooftop ledge of a building near 37th Street and Sixth Avenue when she slipped and fell five stories between two buildings at 8:35 a.m., authorities said. 

    Gladkikh was pronounced dead at a hospital. 

    Authorities said she may have been intoxicated at the time of her fall.

    A spokesperson for Mary Kay said Gladkikh had been part of the company's independent sales force since March.

    "The Mary Kay family is mourning her death," the spokesperson said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family." 

    Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
    <![CDATA[Clinton Opens Up 24-Point Lead Over Trump in NY: Poll]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:30:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Clinton+Trump4.jpg

    Hillary Clinton holds a 24-point lead over Donald Trump among likely voters in New York, according to a new NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll released Monday ahead of the first presidential debate.

    Clinton gets the support of more than 90 percent of Democrats as well as 10 percent of Republicans in the poll. She also holds a five-point lead among independent voters. 

    Some 68 percent of likely New York voters have a negative opinion of Trump; 47 percent have a negative view of Clinton. 

    "Clinton and Trump face off tonight in New York, but the Empire State is far from a battleground state for these two New Yorkers," Lee Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said in a statement. 

    By demographic group, Clinton holds an 84-point lead among African Americans, a 35-point lead among Latino voters and an eight-point lead among whites. 

    Mirroring national trends, Trump leads Clinton by eight points among white men who are likely to vote and by 10 points among whites of all genders without a college degree. 

    In New York City, Clinton leads Trump by 54 points, but Trump holds a one-point lead in the city's immediate suburbs, the poll found.

    In a four-way race, Clinton gets the backing of 52 percent of likely voters, versus 31 percent for Trump, 7 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson and five percent for Green Party nominee Jill Stein. 

    Marist conducted the telephone survey of 1,145 adults from Sept. 21- 23. The poll included 676 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. 

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    <![CDATA[Memorable Moments From Presidential Debates Past]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:56:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nixon-debate-P1.jpg

    You can argue whether presidential debates have the power to swing an election, but they are a dependable source of images and sound bites that help color voters' perception of the candidates - for good and for bad. It began with the first televised debate between a tanned and vibrant John F. Kennedy and a peaked, flu-wracked Richard M. Nixon in 1960 and continued through 2012, when Mitt Romney's story about "binders full of women." Countless quips, gaffes and zingers have occurred in the intervening years. Here are some of the most memorable, in chronological order.

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    Welcome to television, Mr. Nixon

    Pollsters found that people who listened to this debate on the radio thought that Nixon, the vice president, beat Kennedy. But those who followed on television, where Kennedy's youth and poise contrasted with Nixon's age and dourness, sided with Kennedy, who won the election. No single moment of this debate stands out; the entire episode illustrates how Nixon underestimated the power of television. Nixon would later run for president and win, but he refused to debate ever again.

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    Ford's foreign policy blunder

    President Gerald Ford, who ascended to office after Nixon's resignation, was challenged by former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter in 1976. In this clip from the second of three debates, Ford tells an incredulous Max Frankel that "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration." Carter would later say that the debates helped him win the election.

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    Reagan's zingers

    Carter and former California Gov. Ronald Reagan debated only once in 1980, a week before election day, and Reagan showed himself adept at two key debate techniques: affably diffusing an attack and distilling a candidacy down to a single phrase. When Carter criticized Reagan's position on Medicaid, Reagan quipped, "There you go again." And during his closing arguments, Reagan asked voters to ask themselves: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Both lines became classics, and Reagan won by a landslide.

    Carter's Amy speech

    Reagan's inspiring performance stood in stark contrast to Carter's flatness. That was exposed in his closing arguments, when he finished an argument about nuclear weapons by invoking his daughter, Amy. Some analysts point to this remark as the debate's worst.

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    Reagan strikes back

    Reagan was challenged in 1984 by Walter Mondale, who'd served as vice president under Carter. Reagan maintained a large lead for most of the campaign. But Mondale appeared to gain ground in their first debate, when Reagan, who was, at 73, the oldest sitting president, appeared tired and a little disoriented. In the second debate, Reagan again showed his knack for amiably diffusing criticism by addressing the age issue head-on.

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    The rape question

    The 1988 race between Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and Vice President George H.W. Bush featured two debates, the first of which was largely uneventful. But the second began with journalist Bernard Shaw asking Dukakis if he would support the death penalty for someone who raped and killed his wife. Dukakis, a staunch opponent of capital punishment, answered resolutely that he would not, but the dryness of his response cemented the prevailing image of him as reserved and stiff. Soon after the debate, Bush began to climb in the polls.

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    Perot's "giant sucking sound"

    The series of debates in 1992 featured three candidates: President Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and independent candidate Ross Perot, whose campaign was fueled by anti-Washington anger. Bush and Clinton spent much of the first debate attacking each other, and voters reacted in polls by declaring Perot the winner. In the second, Perot's straight-talking, humorous delivery reached a crescendo in his opening remarks, when he went on a tirade against the North American Free Trade Agreement, predicting that it would result in a massive loss of jobs to Mexico. The line became an instant hit.

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    Bush checks his watch

    Later in the second debate of 1992, a member of the audience stood to ask the candidates a question about how the national debt had affected them personally. From the back of the stage, Bush glanced at his watch and then botched the question, struggling to explain himself before admitting, "I'm not sure I get it." A few minutes later, Clinton gave an impassioned response, and the debate was as good as won.

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    Gore tries to intimidate Bush

    The last of three debates between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush in 2000 was held in a town-hall meeting style, leaving the candidates free to roam the stage while answering questions. The exchanges between Bush and Gore had become increasingly testy, with Gore at times expressing impatience with Bush's answers. That tension came to a head during Bush's attempt to explain how he thought the two men differed. Gore stood up and approached Bush in what seemed to be an effort to intimidate him. But Bush's handling of it gave him the upper hand.

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    McCain: “that one”

    The 2008 race featured three debates between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. In the second, a town-hall style meeting, the candidates largely refrained from attacking each other's character but parried on policy in what was generally considered a boring exchange. Perhaps that is why the Democrats and the media fixated on a slight blunder by McCain as he tried to explain the two men's differences on energy policy. Emphasizing a point, he referred to Obama as "that one," which Obama's campaign tried to exploit as evidence that McCain was out of sorts and irascible. T-shirts and Facebook pages mocking the phrase sprouted up. Pundits argued whether it was that bad of a mistake, but it became the most discussed aspect of the debate, and that wasn't good for McCain.

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    Romney's "binders full of women"

    In in answering a question about pay equity for women, Mitt Romney said during the 2012 presidential debate that as governor of Massachusetts he made an effort to include women in his administration. He said his team reached out to several women groups to find applicants and got "binders full of women." The commentary about Romney's phrase took off online even before his second debate with President Barack Obama wrapped up. 

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    Photo Credit: AP
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    <![CDATA[Cuomo Approval Rating Steady Despite Aide Indictment]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:50:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TLMD-ny-andrew-cuomo-efe.jpg

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's approval rating is basically flat compared with last spring, even with the indictment of a close aide hanging over him, according to the new NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.

    In total, 40 percent of New York registered voters rate Cuomo's performance as "excellent" or "good," according to the poll released Monday. The last poll, in April, found a 41 percent approval rating for the Democratic governor. His approval ratings peaked in Oct. 2012 at 59 percent. 

    The telephone survey of 1,145 adults was conducted Sept. 21-23 -- at precisely the same time that long-time Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco was being charged in a bribery and fraud case.

    Percoco also worked for Cuomo's father, Gov. Mario Cuomo. At the former governor's funeral last year, Andrew Cuomo called Percoco "my father's third son, who sometimes I think he loved the most."

    [[394846411, C]]

    The poll included 949 registered voters and had a margin of error for that group of 3.2 percentage points. 

    Cuomo did 11 points better among voters older than 45, and markedly better in New York City than other regions of the state. 

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    <![CDATA[No Threat Found After NJ College Evacuated ]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:29:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bombthreatnewarkfeuerherd.jpg

    No threat was found after Essex County College in Newark was evacuated Monday morning after a report of a potentially suspicious package, the Newark police department said.

    The school was evacuated soon after 11 a.m. after the report, but an all clear was given at about noon, police said.

    "Essex County College appreciates your cooperation during our temporary evacuation. The college has since been cleared for staff and students to return to the building. The college is now operating as normal," the school posted on Facebook.

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    The evacuation comes after a number of suspicious packages have been reported in the tri-state following explosions in Manhattan and northern New Jersey last week.

    Photo Credit: Gia Shakur
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    <![CDATA[Highlights From the 2016 Campaign Trail]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 06:45:44 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_16271040053633.jpg The 2016 presidential race has been contentious and full of surprises. Check out scenes from the campaign trail.

    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[NY Tourists Victims of Hate Crime After Folsom Street Fair]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:52:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/9-26-16-folsom-street-fair.jpg

    Police are investigating a report of a hate crime Saturday night outside a restaurant in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood after a pair of New York tourists said they were pepper-sprayed after the city's leather-clad Folsom Street Fair.

    At about 7:30 p.m., Neil Frias and Jeff White,  both visiting from New York for the annual fair, billed as the "world's largest leather event," were at a McDonald's restaurant near Golden Gate Avenue and Fillmore Street.

    They were ordering food when two suspects rushed them, uttering homophobic slurs. Frias told the San Francisco Chronicle that one of the men told them they were "destroying family values." Then three more suspects got out of a minivan and confronted one of the victims, according to police. The suspects sprayed Frias in the face with a Mace-like substance.

    "Then one guy comes out, and I thought he was going to take a swing at me, and he pepper sprays me and then takes a second can and sprays me," Frias said. "I dropped to the ground, eyes stinging, and I yelled to call the police."

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    Frias and White called out for help, and the suspects fled in the minivan, police said.

    "It was totally unprovoked," White said. "It's amazing how unprovoked it was."

    The suspects are described as five African-American men, 25 to 35 years old, according to police.

    Officers responded and rendered aid to the victims. Paramedics also responded and treated the two men.

    Police said they are treating the attack as a hate crime and have turned over the case to a special investigations unit. The yare also seeking the public's help in finding the suspects, who are still at large.

    Supervisor Scott Wiener was equally stunned to see this type of crime in San Francisco.

    "We need strict enforcement of hate crimes; we need to take this incredibly seriously," Wiener said.

    Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to either call the Police Department's tip line at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with SFPD.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
    <![CDATA[Subway Slash Victim Calls Attacker 'Coward,' Says Use Fists]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 08:16:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bryant+park+subway+slashing+suspect+copy.jpg

    The man slashed across his face and body with a box cutter after an argument on a midtown subway train told NBC 4 New York Sunday that his attacker is a “coward” who should have used his fists rather than pull a blade during their fight.

    The 38-year-old victim spoke to NBC 4 New York, but did not want his face to be shown or his named to be used.

    He did, however, make clear that he wants his attacker to be put in jail for slashing him with the box cutter.

    “There is no need for the knife,” the victim told NBC 4 New York. “A man doesn’t need a knife.”

    “He could’ve punched me so easily and knocked me down probably,” the victim said. “But he didn’t. He’s a coward and he deserves to be in jail.”

    The two men got into an argument at about 10:15 a.m. Thursday aboard a northbound D train as it approached the Bryant Park station.

    The alleged attacker, 44-year-old Michael McKenzie of the Bronx, then allegedly pulled the box cutter and slashed the victim in his face, stomach and arms.

    Horrified straphangers looked on as his attacker cut him, the victim said.

    “When the fight was happening and the blood started spilling, I heard screams," he said. I heard people saying, ‘Stop! Stop! You’re killing him!’” 

    McKenzie allegedly raced out of the station after the attack, police said. The victim, bleeding from his wounds, gave chase until he was stopped by police and taken to Bellevue Hospital.

    McKenzie allegedly escaped through Bryant Park, but was arrested Friday and charged with assault.

    The victim, whose wounds on his arms and face are still held together by stitches, said he regrets the fight.

    "The whole thing was stupid and uncalled for," he said. "The whole fight was childish."

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    <![CDATA[Schumer: Emergency Phone Alerts Must Include Suspect Photos]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 07:20:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cell+phone+alert+suspect.jpg

    As police and federal agents hunted for the man suspected of setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey, millions of people received an alert on their cellphones asking for help finding the bombing suspect. But a phrase in the short message, "See media for pic," has put a spotlight on the limitations of the nation's emergency alert system.

    The alerts, including the one sent last Monday about bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami, are sent to cellphones to alert people in a geographic area of imminent threats to safety. They are currently limited to only 90 characters and cannot transmit multimedia files, like photos or video.

    Sen. Charles Schumer argues the Wireless Emergency System is using outdated infrastructure and is in desperate need of an upgrade. The New York Democrat, who said the recent alert lacked critical details, wants the Federal Communications Commission to revamp the system with the capability of including photos and video.

    "When it comes to a terrorist or other very dangerous criminal on the run, a picture not only is worth a thousand words, it could save a thousand lives if the right person sees it," Schumer said. "We can't afford to have an emergency wireless response system that is stuck in the 90's."

    The FCC already is considering a rule that would expand the length of messages to 360 characters and allow phone numbers and web links to be included in some messages. The commission's chairman, Tom Wheeler, said earlier this month that the new rule "would enable the public to receive additional, vital information in wireless alerts." FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson told The Associated Press that Wheeler has asked his fellow commissioners to vote on updates to the agency's wireless alerting rules. A vote is scheduled for Sept. 29.

    Robert Morse, assistant general counsel at Verizon, wrote to the FCC in April that the company supports making the alert messages longer, but warned that including links could cause network congestion and said multimedia messaging for emergency alerts "is not feasible at this time." AT&T said it, too, had concerns that embedding links could cause congestion, but said it was amenable to a time-limited trial.

    Since the Wireless Emergency Alert system was rolled out in 2012, it has been used to send more than 21,000 messages nationwide, mainly to warn people about dangerous weather conditions or missing children, federal officials said. The system has been used several times in New York City, but last week's alert was the first time the city used the system for a wanted-person message, officials said.

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the alerts have proven to be a valuable tool. Rahami, the 28-year-old bombing suspect, who is facing both federal and state charges, was arrested hours after the alert was sent following a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey.

    The message, however, drew criticism from some who feared racial targeting because the alert included only the name and age of the suspect, not a photo. De Blasio, a Democrat, defended the message, but said he would like future alerts to contain photographs.

    "We want to improve the technology and get the sign-offs we need from the federal level to be able to get this technology improved and get out images in real time," de Blasio said Friday during his weekly "Ask The Mayor" segment on WNYC. "I think we can improve upon it. But I really find that the worst of Monday morning quarterbacking is for people to critique an approach that actually helped catch a terrorist."

    <![CDATA[Candidates Hope to Woo Undecided Voters at Hofstra Debate]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 01:19:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/clinton-trump-split-upset1.jpg

    Security was tightening and suspense was building at Hofstra University out on Long Island Sunday night. Many students say they're still trying to decide who to vote for and that a debate here on Monday will be a major factor in their final choice. 

    Hofstra is hosting the first debate in a presidential race that has been one of the most sensational and unpredictable in years. 

    “Everyone’s excited to have such a big event happen on our campus,” student Brianna Fuccillo said.

    The energy was palpable in the crisp September air on Sunday ahead of the Monday night debate in Hempstead. Political messages were spilling out of dormitory windows and the debate-related merchandise is already sold out.

    “Long Island and Hofstra are going to be the center of the universe tomorrow, probably 100 million people watching,” Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said. “Absolutely fantastic.”

    The most intense studying on Sunday seemed to be off campus: Hillary Clinton hunkered down for the third straight day in a Westchester hotel doing debate prep before taking a diplomatic diversion.

    Clinton and Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss shared security concerns after a week when terror hit the tri-state area.

    The candidates’ answers on the subject of security are of particular interest to Hofstra freshman Dempsey Goodale.

    “I’m very excited to see it, because I’m personally still undecided about who I support. This debate is going to be really influential about who I pick,” Goodale said.

    In a Hofstra dining hall Sunday, a group of freshmen will be voting for the first time. Most of them are undecided. They are the voters who the nominees will be targeting Monday night.

    “I’m a little in between, but probably more towards Hillary than Trump,” Ashley Smetana said. “I’m just not a very big fan of Trump’s personality and how he has handled different situations throughout this debate and election.”

    “I don’t really want a politician, so I like Donald Trump,” Lauren Lacy said. “But I don’t like what he stands for. I’m also a Democrat, so I like Hillary, but I don’t really trust where she stands because she’s kind of a little shady.”

    “Yes, he’s very outspoken, but at least he’s honest about his policies and the way he wants to move forward with this country,” Alisha Patel said of Trump. 

    As many as 100 million viewers may turn in for Monday’s debate, but it’s those undecided voters who really matter for the candidates on stage.

    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have one thing in common going into the debate: they’re trying to lesson their high unfavorability ratings. Trump needs to send presidential vibes and Clinton needs to channel approachability and trustworthiness.

    <![CDATA[Man Beaten, Robbed at Columbus Circle Station: NYPD]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 08:13:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SUBWAY+BEATING+COLUMBUS+CIRCLE.jpg

    Police are looking for the two men who they say beat and robbed a commuter in an early morning attack at the Columbus Circle subway station. 

    The 25-year-old victim was on an A line platform at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle station at 5 a.m. Sunday when he was knocked to the ground by the two suspects.

    The robbers then punched and kicked him while he was on the floor of the station. One of the robbers was wearing brass knuckles during the attack, according to police.

    Video released by the NYPD shows one of the alleged robbers standing over the beaten victim as the other alleged robber appears to act as a lookout nearby. 

    The robbers got away with $350 in cash and other property before leaving the station on a southbound A train.

    The victim suffered bruising and lacerations to his face and was treated at an area hospital.

    The NYPD asks anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.


    <![CDATA[Feds Probe Whether Rahami Took Train With Bombs: Officials]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 07:54:04 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/terror+suspect+rahami+latest.jpg

    Investigators are looking into whether the man who planted explosives in New York and New Jersey over the weekend took a train into New York Penn Station with the devices, senior law enforcement officials told NBC 4 New York. 

    Officials said it's not yet clear how Ahmad Rahami got to and from Manhattan the night that two bombs were planted in Chelsea.

    A criminal complaint says that a car belonging to Rahami's family entered the Lincoln Tunnel that night at about 6:30 p.m. and returned at 11:30 p.m. But officials said surveillance camera coverage of the tunnel does not allow them to see who is driving.

    Officials said that investigators are also looking into the possibility he got to the city by other means, including a train to Penn Station or a car-for-hire service such as Uber or Lyft.

    It comes after sources familiar with the investigation told NBC 4 New York that Ahmad Rahami likely learned how to build the mechanisms that could trigger a bomb while in community college in the United States.

    Rahami took an electronics class while a student at Union County Community College, and the sources said he would have learned how to build a triggering-type device while in that class. 

    The college said on Friday afternoon that Rahami enrolled in several non-credit courses at the college that are open to the general public. It said that there was no additional record that he went to class or enrolled in any additional courses.

    The college added that it is cooperating with the investigation. 

    Rahami faces federal charges that he planted bombs last weekend in New York and New Jersey. One of the New York bombs exploded on 23rd St., injuring 31 people.

    He remains in a hospital after a shoot-out with Linden, New Jersey police on Monday. One of the questions investigators are trying to answer is whether he had any terror training during a variety of trips abroad. 

    The sources also said that investigators have now spoken to Rahami's wife, who has been traveling for months and was apparently unaware of his plans. 

    <![CDATA[4th Body Found in NY Town Identified as Missing Teen: Cops]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:29:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/brentwood+body+found+9+21.jpg

    The second of the two bodies found in the woods near Long Island Railroad tracks earlier this week has been identified as a 15-year-old boy not seen since February, authorities said Friday.

    Suffolk County authorities said the body found in Brentwood on Wednesday is Miguel Garcia-Moran. His remains were found near those of Oscar Acosta, a 19-year-old Brentwood High School student who had also been missing for several months. 

    The bodies were discovered as police searched the town in the wake of the killings of high school best friends Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas. The two girls, 15 and 16, were both found beaten to death in the town last week. 

    Authorities said that the two were victims of gang violence; police later said that Acosta's death was linked to gangs as well.

    Garcia-Moran's parents had also expressed concern that he may have been a gang target. Police, who said the teen was the victim of a homicidal beating, are investigating whether his death could be linked to organized crime. 

    It's not clear if the deaths of Mickens and Cuevas were connected to the killings of Acosta or Garcia-Moran.

    Authorities also said Friday that they're investigating whether a person in federal custody on unrelated charges could be linked to any of the killings. 

    Friday's revelation comes as Brentwood school officials warn parents about sending students to bus stops in "clothing that could be considered gang-affiliated" after someone grabbed and set ablaze a student's blue shirt.

    Suffolk County police said on Friday that the department was launching an "all-out assault" on gangs in the 11-square-mile town as well as in Central Islip and Wyandanch. 

    On Thursday, police scoured the grounds of a state-run psychiatric hospital in the area where the remains were found. It wasn't clear whether the Suffolk County officers decked out in white plastic suits had found anything at the Pilgrim Psychiatric Hospital, or if the search was related to the ongoing homicide investigations.

    Anyone with information on the killings of Garica-Moran, Acosta, Mickens or Cuevas is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the deaths of Mickens and Cuevas.

    <![CDATA[Bomb Case Is Latest Hardship for NJ's Large Muslim Community]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 06:52:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_16267703415052.jpg

    At the Islamic Center of Passaic County, which draws about 2,000 people each Friday for communal prayers, the talk is about how this year is different.

    After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, people of other faiths in the surrounding community were generally able to see the difference between the radical perpetrators and American Muslims, said Omar Awad, president of the center. But he suggested that distinction seems to be blurring in the public mind amid the anti-Muslim rhetoric of the presidential campaign and growing anger over terrorist strikes in Europe and the United States, the latest allegedly plotted by a New Jersey Muslim.

    "They're trying to strike fear between neighbors, between the very fabric of society that we spent so much time trying to make sure that we knitted," said Awad, a New Jersey native, sitting in the offices of the 27-year-old Paterson mosque.

    Like Muslims around the country, New Jersey's have been slogging through a particularly painful year.

    On the campaign trail, the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, falsely claimed that Muslims in Jersey City celebrated when the World Trade Center fell, as he sought to promote a proposed national database for Muslims and increased surveillance of mosques.

    Gov. Chris Christie, who once sharply dismissed those who questioned the loyalty of a Muslim judicial appointee, has endorsed Trump.

    And now New Jersey Muslims are facing the broad scrutiny that follows when someone in their community is suspected of being a militant. Ahmad Khan Rahami, a U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, who worked at his family's chicken takeout restaurant in Elizabeth, has been charged by federal officials in two states with planting bombs in New York and at a military charity run and a train station in New Jersey. Federal authorities said he praised Muslim extremists and prayed he'd be martyred.

    "I don't want the stigma to go out that there's some kind of issue in Elizabeth, that it's a hotbed for people with radical ideas, because it's not," said Hassen Abedellah, an attorney and Elizabeth native, who is president of the Darul Islam mosque in the city.

    Abedellah said he was "in shock" when he learned that Rahami was being sought by police. Abedellah could not say for sure whether Rahami had ever worshipped at Darul Islam, but said the suspect could have passed through, since many Muslims in the community at one time or another have attended Friday prayers there.

    It is the latest difficulty for one of the larger Muslim communities in the United States. Muslims comprise about 1 percent of the U.S. population, but make up about 3 percent of the residents in New Jersey, according to the Pew Research Center. New Jersey Muslims are predominantly African-American, Arab or South Asian, plus Muslim asylum seekers from the Balkans and elsewhere. Several Muslims serve as state judges and mayors, among other public positions.

    In Elizabeth, Muslims have had a presence since at least the mid-20th century, developing mainly from a community of African-American Muslims and eventually growing to encompass immigrants from around the world, Abedellah said. Friday prayer at Darul Islam can draw as many as 500 people.

    The Sept. 11 attacks hit hard in New Jersey. Hundreds of victims of the suicide hijackings came from the state. In the aftermath, Muslim leaders joined with other religious and community leaders to quell any backlash. Mohammad Ali Chaudry, a Pakistani-born economist who had lived in New Jersey since the 1970s, ran for public office in 2001 in Basking Ridge and said he encountered no bias.

    "Not a single person during that walking campaign, going door to door, asked me what my religion was," said Chaudry, who went on to serve on the township committee and, eventually, as mayor. "They were concerned about what am I going to do about the deer problem. We have a lot of deer. How am I going to keep taxes down?"

    Still, suspicion followed the community. Reports by The Associated Press revealed that the New York Police Department had been monitoring the daily life of Muslims in New Jersey, New York and beyond, including monitoring the Muslim Students Association at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, and Muslim businesses and mosques in Newark. New York City has since settled lawsuits accusing the department of waging a covert campaign of religious profiling and illegal spying.

    "People felt very uncomfortable knowing that they are part of society but not really accepted as being part of the society," said Mikal Nash, a professor at Essex County College in Newark and author of "Muslims in Newark, New Jersey: A Social History."

    New Jersey also found itself at the center of movement against Islamic law, or Shariah, in the U.S., after a state judge denied a woman a restraining order against her husband, who she said beat and sexually assaulted her. The judge said the husband's Islamic religious views meant he believed he was entitled to sexual relations at any time with his wife — legal reasoning that Muslim law experts rejected and a ruling an appellate court later reversed. Yet, the case was seized on by advocates for bans on Islamic law in other states.

    In New Jersey, the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported to the government remains low but is increasing, rising from four in 2014 to 14 last year, according to researchers at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, Bernardino. But tensions can be seen in the vocal resistance to building mosques in some communities, with an ongoing fight in Bayonne and another in Basking Ridge that has stretched over four years and is now in court.

    Christie's political pivot has been especially disheartening for New Jersey Muslims. They had viewed the governor as a reliable ally. Five years ago, he drew notice for slamming critics of his decision to appoint an American Muslim, Sohail Mohammed, to the Superior Court. "They're criticizing him because he's a Muslim American," Christie said, condemning conspiracists who argued Mohammed would bring Islamic law into state courts.

    "This Shariah law business is crap. It's just crazy. And I'm tired of dealing with the crazies," Christie said.

    Chaudry, a longtime Republican, said he was stunned when the governor backed Trump this year. Chaudry had worked with the New Jersey attorney general's office on Muslim outreach and was appointed by Christie to a state commission on public service. But because of Trump, he left the GOP to join the Democrats, and has since been heavily involved in registering Muslims to vote, conducting outreach after Friday juma, or communal prayers, and surrounding the recent celebration of the Eid al-Adha holiday. He is also coordinating public speaker training for young people at his mosque.

    "You have to be at the decision table," Chaudry said.

    Despite the tumult, and the glare from the Rahami case, New Jersey Muslims are persevering. The Islamic Center in Paterson is encouraging families to attend a holiday celebration called "Great Muslim Adventure Day" at the Six Flags amusement park in New Jersey. And next weekend in Elizabeth, where Rahami lived, more than 300 people are expected to attend the sixth annual meeting of the American Muslim Consumer Consortium, on marketing to Muslims and commemorating their achievements in the business world.

    "I encourage Donald Trump and his supporters to come and see what the real American Muslim community in the U.S. is all about," said Sabiha Ansari, a co-founder of the conference. "We are just as patriotic, proud and American as anyone else."

    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[Two Dead in Airport Plane Crash: NJ Police]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:28:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-0806151.jpg

    Two people were killed in a plane crash in Alexandria Sunday afternoon, New Jersey State Police said.

    A Mooney M20 airplane stalled during a landing attempt on Runway 25 at the Sky Manor Airport and subsequently crashed into a field at 12:32 p.m, according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson.

    Police confirmed that both victims have died.

    The FAA will investigate the crash.

    <![CDATA[Two Dead in Highway Motorcycle crash: NJ Police]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 13:37:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/policewcar1.jpg

    Two people are dead following a motorcycle accident in the southbound lanes of I-287 Sunday morning, New Jersey State police said.

    The victims were riding on one motorcycle before they crashed near mile marker 41.2 at 11:11 a.m., according to NorthJersey.com.

    Only the left lanes are open on local routes, but express lanes remain open, police said. 

    The investigation is ongoing.

    <![CDATA[Police Hunt for 2 Men in Killing of Queens Deli Worker]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 09:22:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/196*120/queenskillersfeuerherd.jpg

    Police are searching for two men in connection to the shooting death of a Queens deli worker during a robbery attempt Saturday morning, authorities said.

    Mamadou Nassirou Diallo was shot just before 5:00 a.m. at the Sunshine deli where he worked near 170th Street and Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, police said. 

    Authorities say two armed men came in through the back of the store at around 4:50 a.m. and stole money from the register before shooting Diallo.

    About two hours later, two customers approached the deli's street-side partition window and called police when they saw Diallo, 46, lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head. 

    Surveillance video released by police shows two suspects walk into the deli with hoods pulled over their faces. 

    Friends laid flowers in front of Sunshine Deli to pay their respects. Neighborhood residents describe Diallo as a good man.

    "He was so humble and so down to Earth, this here has the whole neighborhood vibe and energy thrown off," said Eric Rodriguez, a Jamaica resident.

    Diallo's brother tearfully said that Diallo came to the states from Guinea 20 years ago in search of a better life.

    Paramedics declared him dead at the scene, police said.

    Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
    <![CDATA[Actor Famous for 'Radio Raheem' Role Dies]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2016 06:59:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/radioraheem.jpg

    Bill Nunn, the actor most famous for his role as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing," died Saturday in Pittsburgh, Lee announced on Instagram. He was 62.

    "My Dear Friend, My Dear Morehouse Brother- Da Great Actor Bill Nunn As Most Of You Know Him As Radio Raheem Passed Away This Morning In His Hometown Of Pittsburgh. Long Live Bill NUNN," Lee wrote on Instagram.

    Nunn appeared in a number films throughout his career, which spanned from the late 1980s into the 21st Century. He acted opposite Tobey Maguire in the "Spiderman" franchise, in "New Jack City" with Wesley Snipes, and in "Sister Act" starring Whoopi Goldberg.

    But his most notable role was Radio Raheem, the Bedford-Stuyvesant resident who spoke in poetic prose about his brass knuckles emblazoned with the words "love" and "hate." 

    In the film, racial tensions in the Brooklyn neighborhood simmer during a steamy summer day. They boil over at night when Nunn's character is choked to death by a New York City police officer. 


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    Photo Credit: AP
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