A tarp is now covering two Confederate flags hanging from the windows of a residential building on East 8th Street, at Avenue D. This photo was taken Friday afternoon by George Cohen.
Controversy erupted last week when neighbors began complaining about the flags, which have been on display for at least several months. The events in Charlottesville, Virginia prompted some locals to speak up, and in one case, to throw rocks at the windows. Cops and the building super at 403 East 8th St. tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade the man living in the apartment to remove the flags. Neighbors have said the resident is mentally unstable. He also displayed an Israeli flag in one of the windows.
EV Grieve reported Friday:
This afternoon, workers dropped a black tarp from the roof over the windows on Eighth Street displaying the Confederate and Israeli flags. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the tarp — building management or concerned neighbors.
A woman who answered the phone at the building’s management office, Yassky Properties, could not confirm whether it had covered the windows. The building’s property manager did not return a message seeking comment, though he said on Thursday that management was trying to “resolve” the issue.
NY1 reports that a neighbor tried to break into the apartment where the flags are displayed Friday evening:
The suspect, who identified himself to NY1 as Darren Keen, was arrested on the Lower East Side around 9 p.m. Friday. Police say officers heard the sound of broken glass at a building on East 8th Street near Avenue D. When they went to investigate, the NYPD says they found a trail of blood leading to the next building and up to Keen’s apartment. Police say Keen admitted to breaking a window and was taken into custody.
Earlier Keen told NY1, “I’m going right now to the hardware store and I’m going to pull those tarps up and I’m going to paint a giant Wu-Tang logo on those tarps right now.” Keen said he moved to New York from Nebraska to escape racism. “I came out here because I wanted to, I reject all that,” he explained. “And honestly, yeah, seeing this here again now, this reminds me of the reasons, why did I move out here then if I’m going to have to see a Confederate flag?”
UPDATE 5:07 p.m. According to multiple reports, the tarp and the flags ae now gone.
UPDATE 8/21 DNAinfo reports that the property owner has gone to court in an effort to evict the rent-sabilized tenant:
William Green’s glowing display of two Confederate battle flags in the windows of his top-floor apartment at 403 E. Eighth St. have posed a “clear and present danger” to the building and the surrounding community by sparking violence and mayhem, says the complaint filed Saturday by property owner 113 Avenue D, LLC in New York State Supreme Court.
You can read the full article here.