You are reading

Ridgewood Man Sentenced to 19 Months in Prison for Making Online Threats to Kill AOC and Schumer

Brendan Hunt, pictured, has been sentenced to 19 months in prison for making online threats against elected officials (A screenshot of Brendan Hunt from his YouTube channel “xrayultra”)

Nov. 24, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

A Ridgewood man has been sentenced to 19 months in prison for making online threats to kill Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Chuck Schumer and other leading Democrats.

Brendan Hunt, 37, was sentenced at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn Monday after calling for the death and public executions of Ocasio-Cortez, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a series of online posts and videos he made in December and January – following the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Hunt was found guilty in a jury trial in April where the court also heard evidence that he demanded his online followers take up arms and violently overthrow the federal government as he claimed the election had been “rigged.”

“Get your guns, show up to D.C., and literally just spray these m—–f—–s . . . put some bullets in their f——g heads,”  he said in a video posted online on Jan. 8. “If anybody has a gun, give me it, I’ll go there myself and shoot them and kill them.”

Hunt had pleaded not guilty to the charges and his conviction carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said that such crimes would be investigated and vigorously prosecuted.

“[This] sentence sends a clear message that those who seek to harm our representatives and bring chaos to our democracy will be punished,” Peace said.

“We will not tolerate threats to members of the United States Congress or calls to overthrow our democratically elected government.”

The case was the first trial to address the consequences of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, prosecutors said, although Hunt did not attend the riot.

Hunt’s Jan. 8 video was titled “Kill Your Senators,” and was posted two days after violent rioters storming the Capitol building in Washington D.C.

In the video, Hunt encouraged viewers to storm the Capitol a second time — but with guns. He suggested killing legislators during the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

“[W]e need to go back to the U.S. Capitol when all of the Senators and a lot of the Representatives are back there, and this time we have to show up with our guns,” he said. “And we need to slaughter these m—–f—–s.”

Hunt made a series of social media posts between Dec. 6 and Jan. 8 where he labeled Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi and Schumer as “high-value target[s],” according to the criminal complaint.

“They really need to be put down,” Hunt posted. “These commies will see death before they see us surrender.”

He also called on former President Donald Trump to hold public executions of the congress members in another post.

Hunt defended his actions during the trial by telling the jury that he didn’t think anyone would take his rants seriously and also blamed some of his rhetoric on drug use.

Prosecutors also alleged that Hunt espoused white supremacist and anti-Semitic views based on his social media accounts, as well as videos, text messages, emails, and other documents downloaded from his electronic devices.

In a statement to the court Monday, Hunt criticized prosecutors for portraying him as “some neo-Nazi white supremacist,” the New York Times reported. Hunt called it “lazy rhetoric” and said the prosecution’s case was “based on fear.”

He also apologized to his family and said he was “truly sorry” for how he expressed his anger. He is the son of a retired New York City family court judge.

“I felt, for a long time, powerless to push back on what I saw as unfairness in the way conservatives were treated,” Hunt said.

He said that his actions were “terribly misguided” and “wrong,” for which he has paid a “heavy price.”

At the time of his arrest in January, Hunt was a full-time employee of the New York State Office of Court Administration where he worked as an assistant court analyst in the state’s Attorney Registration Unit.

He was also a part-time actor and filmmaker, according to court documents.

It was also revealed that Hunt had shared a cell with disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn for a few weeks over the summer.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force investigating vandalism at Forest Hills church that has been targeted in the past

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a case of criminal mischief at a Forest Hills house of worship in which a vandal threw a rock to intentionally damage its glass front door, according to authorities.

Police say that just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, police from the 112th Precinct were called to Grace Lutheran Church, located at 103-15 Union Tpke., after a man threw a rock and damaged the church’s front door.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.