Speed Reads

'This lobby is a hate crime'

This New York City condo lobby is decorated with images of Robert E. Lee, swastikas, and Hitler

A New York City councilman is urging police to investigate the property manager of a condo building in Queens that's adorned with images of guns, a swastika, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, and Robert E. Lee.

The building's entryway features two 10-foot-tall statues of Uncle Sam and a crucifix. Once inside, residents are confronted with National Rifle Association stickers, a tribute to President Trump, and an array of images that includes Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, and Jim Crow. The directory lists everyone from Nazis Rudolf Hess and Josef Mengel to rappers LL Cool J and Biggie Smalls.

In a rally Wednesday outside the building, Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer declared the lobby "a hate crime." "I see and have had them tell me personally how afraid they are, and they're literally unable to speak out for fear of retaliation from this man, so we as a community have to speak out for them," Van Bramer told Gothamist. "If you put it all together — the images in the lobby with the fear I've been told firsthand by people who live there — you realize there's something much larger going on."

Residents say they believe the decor is the work of the building's property manager and board president, Neal Milano, who apparently has a track record of harassing tenants and condo owners. A lawsuit has been filed against Milano and the condo board, and the New York City Police Department's Hate Crime Unit has been alerted.

CBS New York reported that Milano is "currently out of the country, but his attorney said the murals were approved by the board" and that the posters are "patriotic and historical."