What to Know
- Posters paying homage to the Confederate Army and to World War II dictators line the walls of the lobby in the 39th Street condo tower
- The building directory lists infamous Nazis Rudolf Hess and Josef Mengele as residents
- NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer led a rally at the building last week, calling for action; he said Tuesday he was pleased
New York City's Commission on Human Rights has launched an investigation into allegations of tenant harassment at a Queens apartment building, where a property manager has plastered the lobby with hateful posters and propaganda.
Posters paying homage to the Confederate Army and to World War II dictators like Mussolini and Hitler line the walls of the lobby in the 39th Place condo building in the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Sunnyside. Posters in support of the National Rifle Association and President Trump cover the stairwell.
Many residents in the building are immigrants. Last week, residents spoke to News 4 anonymously, terrified of retribution. They say the display of posters and propaganda started small and grew to the entire lobby. The building directory lists infamous Nazis Rudolf Hess and Josef Mengele as residents.
"I actually cried when I saw the Trump mural because it says 'build the wall' on it, and this building is full of people from all over different places, and that statement is loaded with hatred," said one neighbor.
It's illegal in New York City for housing providers, landlords or their employees or agents to discriminate against tenants by creating a hostile environment based on race, religion, immigration status, orientation or any other protected class. It's also against the law to harass tenants based on those classes.
“It is now more important than ever for New Yorkers to stand united as one city and reject discrimination and intolerance,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “We will not let tenants in Sunnyside or across the five boroughs be intimidated or threatened for speaking out against hatred.”
New York City Council Major Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, a Democrat, led a rally at the building last week, saying the man has created a "house of horrors" for tenants there. Local lawmakers and leaders from the Anti-Defamation League of New York, the Sunnyside Jewish Cetner and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York were by his side.
He said Tuesday he was pleased the Commission on Human Rights has launched an investigation.
"The tenants of this Sunnyside condominium have been terrorized at the hands of this property manager for far too long," Van Bramer said.
The property manager, Neil Milano, did not respond to NBC 4 New York's requests for comment on the initial story last week. Messages left with the board of managers were also not returned.