Court Vacates Burglary Conviction Because Defendant Did Not Have a Lawyer at Trial

Categories: Justice

Nathaniel Issac, then 52, was arrested and charged with breaking into a Queens warehouse in May 2008. Prosecutors presented a witness who claimed to have seen Issac on the roof of the building next to the warehouse the same week of the break-in. Police found Issac in possession of items from the warehouse.

In a September 2010 bench trial, a Queens Supreme Court judge found Issac guilty of burglary.

Four years later, an appeals court overturned the conviction.

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Brooklyn Gets Its Own Football Team at the Worst Possible Moment

Categories: Brooklyn

Coney Island's MCU Park
On Tuesday, Borough President Eric Adams officially welcomes Brooklyn's new football team, the Bolts, to the neighborhood. The Brooklyn Bolts are a Fall Experimental Football League franchise; the FXFL is hoping to become a development league for the NFL, the way minor-league baseball is for the MLB.

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A New Company Is Framing and Selling 'Ownership' of NYC Street Art

Categories: Art, Culture

A curious splash of color in the concrete jungle?
Who in New York City doesn't have $150 or so kicking around that they want to blow on something crazy? I mean, we're all trust fund kids and Russian oligarchs at this point, right?

So thank God for Wall-(m)Art, a mysterious online gallery/performance art project/racket that will take any graffiti you see on the street, frame it, and put up a plaque declaring its new owner: you! Shell out from about $100 to $300 and you can make like a dog and metaphorically pee all on your favorite street art in the city.

So far the company has sold four pieces to friends -- two have been framed in Williamsburg (ugh), the other two in Bushwick (ughhhhhhh) -- and one to the Voice. We purchased the cheapest work available -- a $111 job titled Ouch, Charlie, Ouch that features a sketch of half of Charlie Chaplin's face -- to see if Wall-(m)Art would make good on its promises.

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Harlem's East River Houses Not Quite the 'Increasingly Violent' Place D.A. Calls It

Wikimedia Commons
On Friday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced that his office had indicted 19 people on charges of selling crack cocaine in the East River Houses in East Harlem.

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Nigerian Independence Day Parade 2014: Cloudy With a Chance of Ebola?

Categories: Culture, Politics

Courtesy of the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians
Dancers from last year's parade.
This past Saturday, more than a thousand Nigerians and other Africans strutted down 10 blocks of Second Avenue from East 54th Street in the annual Nigerian Independence Day Parade. The group that gathered on the damp, cold morning to commemorate the 54th anniversary of Nigeria's independence from Great Britain seemed oblivious to the growing xenophobia on U.S. soil, where the populace appears to be increasingly wary of being around Africans.

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Here's the NYPD Arresting an Audience Member Mid-Comedy Show, Then Heckling the Comedian

Screenshot via.
A bemused Adam Newman, onstage, as the NYPD arrests an audience member
As a general rule, the worst thing that can happen during a comedy set is realizing you've accidentally stumbled into some kind of hellish Dane Cook/Daniel Tosh marathon. But it could be worse! You could, for example, be sitting in a comedy show around midnight at the Upright Citizens Brigade's Chelsea theater when four members of New York's finest come in, fish you out of the audience, and arrest you. That's what looks to have happened this past Saturday night, during a UCB variety show called Underground Americana. The comedian onstage, Adam Newman, says he watched officers come in with flashlights and immediately handcuff a guy sitting to the left side of the stage. When Newman asked what was going on, an NYPD officer advised him to "shut the fuck up."

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Stephen Colbert is a Knife-Wielding Criminal -- And Here's the Video Proof!

Categories: America, Crime, NYPD

Credit: Screen grab from
Stephen Colbert brazenly flaunts an "illegal" knife in 2010.
This week's cover story is about the NYPD's very strict -- and some say ridiculous -- interpretation of a state statute regulating "gravity knives."

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OWS Activist Cecily McMillan Found Not Guilty of Interfering with Arrest in Union Square Subway

Photo by Anna Merlan
McMillan and her attorney Martin Stolar await a verdict on October 10
A jury has found former Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan not guilty of interfering with an arrest in a Union Square subway station. McMillan was charged with obstruction of governmental administration on December 7, 2013, when two police officers said she interfered with their investigation of two people they suspected of turnstile-jumping. McMillan, who faced up to a year in jail on the charges, hugged her attorney, Martin Stolar, when the verdict was read, then yelled "thank you!" at the jury as they departed.

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So What Knives ARE Legal in New York City, Anyway? The Answer Might Surprise You

Categories: NYPD

Photo Credit: aarongilson via Compfight cc
You can legally carry some pretty serious knives in New York City.
Our cover story this week is about the thousands of people arrested in New York City in recent years for possession of common folding knives.

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The 10 Most Subversive Comics at New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con kicked off on Thursday, attracting comics and pop-culture fanatics from around the globe to the Javits Center on the west side of Manhattan for celebrities and cosplay. Oh, and comics. Here's a selection of the 10 most subversive comics we spotted at NYCC.

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Six Movies Opening This Weekend You Don't Know About But Should

Categories: Film and TV

Each week new movies open in New York (and online) by the dozen. The Voice reviews all of 'em. Here are some you might not have heard about that got our critics excited, for better or worse.

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Ten Things to Do for $10 or Less This Weekend, Oct. 10-12, 2014

Categories: Culture

Credit: Mick Rock
See iconic photos of rock stars at Sumo Gallery for free this weekend.
This weekend, the co-founder of OkCupid may tell you what your dating habits say about you, but he won't tell you to go bat-watching in Central Park. That's our job.

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The 20 Best Modern Vampire Movies, 1979 to the Present

Categories: Film and TV

Our review of this week's Dracula Untold doesn't inspire much hope: "This Dracula Begins-style sword-and-fangs curio plays like someone said, 'What if we took a vampire flick but did a find-and-replace swapping out all that bare-neck sensuality for some video-game ass-kicking?' "

But for every genre-entry failure, there are numerous modern vampire movies that manage to plumb and toy with the creature's mythology in imaginative ways. The breadth of the directors featured here -- from French auteur Claire Denis to Germany's Werner Herzog to American mavericks Jim Jarmusch and Francis Ford Coppola -- speaks to the wide variety of voices that have tackled the genre with such ingenuity in recent decades. -- Danny King

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Famed Graffiti Artist Adam Cost Arrested by NYPD Officers Obsessed With Adam Cost

Categories: Graffiti, NYPD

Photo by Mark Hewko
Last year's cover
In the '90s, legendary graffiti artist Adam Cost papered New York with his work, wheatpasting sly, hilarious, all-caps tributes to himself ("COST Fucked Madonna" was the best-loved one) on every available surface before abruptly going silent. In early 2013 or so, as we reported at the time, he returned, and suddenly Manhattan's scaffolds and street signs were full of COSTs once again. That is, until this past Sunday, when police officers in the NYPD's weirdly named Cabaret Unit, the quality-of-life-crimes patrol out of Manhattan's Sixth Precinct, say they caught him in the act, walking away from a fresh tag with his clothes covered in wheatpaste.

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Meet New York City's Resident Knife Nerds

Categories: NYPD

Photo Credit: One lucky guy via Compfight cc
Not an actual knife nerd. This guy's just a regular nerd.
Our cover story this week is about the thousands of people arrested in New York City in recent years for possession of common folding knives.

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Symptoms of Ebola May Include Fever, Vomiting, Xenophobia

Categories: Health Care

WFAA via Twitter. h/t Dallas Observer
A man experiencing Ebola-like symptoms was taken from a clinic in Frisco, Texas, to a Dallas hospital.
After New York Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino announced his plan to save us all from Ebola, we were curious whether he'd get any traction with this whole banning-all-travel-from-West Africa thing. Turns out the response to his words might be...biological.

Astorino spoke only a day before the death of Thomas Edward Duncan, an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control regarding increased screening at airports, and news that a man in Frisco, Texas, showing Ebola-like symptoms, had been taken to the hospital out of "an abundance of caution."

Some studies suggest contagious diseases can actually have direct effects on what societies consider to be moral, and on how people feel about outsiders. It's something University of British Columbia professor Mark Schaller calls "the behavioral immune system."

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Rob Astorino Has a Plan to Save Us From Ebola

Categories: Health Care
Rob Astorino, New York's Republican gubernatorial candidate, grandstanded for the cameras Tuesday, demanding that New York City airports cease receiving flights from West Africa, in order to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

"God help us if Ebola comes into New York because we were afraid to offend someone," he intoned, with the United Nations building providing a backdrop of the requisite gravitas. "I therefore call on the FAA today to halt air travel to New York area airports [from affected West African nations] until proper protocols are in place."

Astorino's announcement came only a day before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it will be increasing screening procedures for the virus at major U.S. airports, including JFK and Newark International.

The candidate's remarks didn't go over very well with his opponent, Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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The Five Worst Landlords in New York 2014

Categories: Real Estate

Landlords never loved us.
For the fourth year in a row, the Public Advocate has released a list of the worst landlords in New York City. The registry, created under former Public Advocate Bill de Blasio back in 2010, is back this year to shame 98 landlords presiding over some 6,700 leaky, drafty, rat- and roach-infested death traps scattered throughout the five boroughs.

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Film Podcast: Twin Peaks Returns, The Judge Disappoints, and Whiplash Drips With Jazz

Categories: Film and TV

Photo by Daniel McFadden - © 2014 - Sony Pictures Classics
Miles Teller in Whiplash
Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, along with LA Weekly's Amy Nicholson, open this week's podcast with a brief discussion of Twin Peaks, which comes back to TV via a series on Showtime in 2016, and move on to The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, and then to Whiplash, starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons.

The gang also discuss the latest Left Behind movie, starring Nicolas Cage, before wrapping up with recommendations of the 1964 film Nothing But a Man and the documentaries Evolution of a Criminal and The Overnighters. It's all on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast.

.NYC to NJ: Get Your Own Damn Dot!

Wikimedia Commons
Best thing about Jersey: Great views of New York!

Look out the window right now and you'll see a giant barge floating up the Hudson River from Red Hook to Riverside. And not just any barge -- this one's been outfitted with a giant banner, draped over a stack of freight containers, that reads: ".NYC Domains at GoDaddy. SHHH -- Don't Tell Jersey."

It's promoting the new .nyc internet domain suffix, which is accessible only to residents of the five boroughs. The idea is that dot-nyc domains will bring in revenue and entice local small businesses to build an internet presence.

And apparently, the campaign is aimed at encouraging New York City residents to gloat at our neighbors a mere bridge-and-tunnel away.

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