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New York Times Contributor Caught Vandalizing New York Transit Center with Antisemitic Messages

An anti-Israel protester and New York Times contributor was busted for scrawling graffiti in a Park Slope subway station — then complained he had no idea defacing public property was against the law.

Kyle Turner, 30, a Brooklyn-based author and editor, moaned in an X thread Friday that he was “annoyed and tired” after his run-in with cops earlier in the day.

“I spent last night in jail because i wrote ‘ceasefire/free Palestine’ in the 7th Ave F/G subway in Park Slope at 2am,” wrote Turner, whose social-media sites tout his work with the Times and other publications such as Slate — including an article titled, “Is There a Place for Torture Porn in 2017?”

The activist claimed that although he did not resist arrest, an officer — whom he described as “lesbian presenting” — tried to “throw me around.

“It was so stupid,” he scoffed.

What followed next, according to the self-confessed graffiti vandal, was “four and a half hours of cops milling about and doing paperwork.

“I sincerely didn’t know graffiti in the subway (which i see all the time) was an arrestable offense,” the writer said. “But I also can’t believe our tax dollars go to cops focusing on minor infractions.”

Cops said he used a “permanent marker” to leave his message, and Turner, who is originally from Connecticut, was charged with making graffiti, criminal mischief and possession of graffiti instrument, according to the NYPD.

Under state law, graffiti is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in a county jail or probation.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Turner told The Post he believed his arrest was “a waste of public resources.

“I clearly didn’t pose a threat to anyone,” he said. “It was a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Turner’s book “The Queer Film Guide: 100 great movies that tell LGBTQIA+ stories” was published last year.

He also wrote an article for the Times titled, “Pride in Queer Cinema of the Past Might Show Us Our Future,” in 2019, and several for Slate, including the one teased on the outlet’s Web site under the “Torture Porn” headline, and a movie review for GQ titled, “If You Liked the Emotional Devastation of Passages, Then You’ll Love Married Life.”

Turner said he has been active in a couple of different pro-Palestinian groups and has been taking part in protests against Israel’s war with Hamas over the past six months.

“I thought people should be alerted to what was happening in Gaza,” he said of his motive for tagging the subway wall.

At the same time, the 30-year-old admitted that his stunt may have been misguided.

“I know that my energy could be going to a more effective form of activism and organizing,” he said. “It was a maybe misaligned use of my energy, but it was the way I channeled my frustration and my sadness.”

Turner recounted how one of the arresting cops, who he said was a Muslim, allegedly tried to intercede on his behalf by asking his partner to let the subway tagger go with only a warning – but the partner apparently insisted on an arrest.

Turner, whose only other interaction with police happened in 2017 or 2018 when he was ticketed for jumping a turnstile, went on to say that he was stunned that “they will use all these time and resources and labor over a Sharpie.”

Turner was ultimately turned loose with a desk appearance ticket. Turner said he is hopeful that owing to his otherwise clean record he will be spared jail time when he faces a judge May 2.

“I’m totally okay, btw. Just annoyed and tired,” Turner summed everything up on X. “And so mad at the structures and institutions in our society teehee.”

His arrest came just days after the Big Apple was plunged into chaos unleashed by an anti-Israel mob that burned US flags, displayed a Hezbollah banner in the middle of Lower Manhattan and yelled “Death to America!” to protest the Biden administration’s support of Israel in its war against Hamas.

“I know I do not bear the brunt of the worst of the NYPD’s violence,” Turner told The Post. “And I think what we should be talking about is both the way the NYPD has been using unnecessary force during these pro-Palestinian protests as well as the continuing mass atrocities and genocide happening in Gaza.”

https://nypost.com/2024/04/16/us-news/anti-israel-protester-and-nyt-freelancer-busted-for-graffiti-then-complains-he-had-no-idea-it-was-illegal/