01:18 GMT +318 November 2019
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    New York Apartment Confederate Flags

    ‘A Clear and Present Danger’: NY Landlord Sues Over Confederate Flags in Windows

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    A Manhattan landlord is trying to evict a tenant who has two Confederate flags in the windows of his sixth-floor apartment at East Eighth Street and Avenue D in East Village.

    Charles Yassky, the owner of the building, filed papers in the Manhattan Supreme Court arguing that tenant Will Green "contractually gave up any free speech rights by his execution of the lease agreement, which bans objectionable conduct," the New York Post reported. 

    "The conduct of the defendant in the wake of the recent activities in Charlottesville, [Virginia], the president's statements related to the same and public concerns make the defendant's actions unreasonable in character," the affidavit said.

    The building owner also claimed that Green's flags, which are lit up by spotlights from inside Green's apartment, have created "a clear and present danger to the building, its residents and the community at large." In addition to the racist exhibition of confederate flags, Green also has a 13-star American flag and four Israeli flags hanging in his windows.

    Yassky is hoping that the court will issue an order that will require Green to obscure the display, or even better, to give up the flags.

    The flags have caused protesters to rally outside the building, and tensions recently escalated to the point where someone threw a rock through Green's window.

    In an effort to curb additional conflict, Yassky, who owns residential and commercial estate around the Big Apple, covered Green's windows with tarps.

    "The building and its residents have expressed constant fear of physical attack and for their physical safety and well-being," the landlord said in the court papers, which included email attachments from five tenants expressing their concern over the flags.

    "I do not feel safe sleeping tonight," one resident wrote in an email.

    While all this chaos has been unfolding outside his apartment, Green is on a trip in the mountains without cellphone service to get some "sun and to see the eclipse," according to an email that he sent his landlord. 

    In his email, Green also wrote, "I've had those flags up for over a year. I find all the alleged commotion while I'm on vacation a little suspicious. I'll be back in the city on Tuesday, you can update me then. Whatever the drama, ‘this too shall pass.' (like the eclipse)."

    Green has a "history of unpredictable behavior," according to court papers. He has previously played offensive music, flung a television down the stairs, displayed German Cross flags and even tried to commit suicide by jumping outside a window before being stopped by emergency medical services.

    A longtime resident, who requested to remain anonymous, expressed her concern that Green may be mentally ill.

    "Obviously I don't want to live in a building with Confederate flags in the window," she said. "But I don't know if he understands what the flag represents."


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    protest, mental illness, lawsuit, Confederate flag, New York
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