It's been a very heated race for the Brooklyn DA's office, and now one of the candidates is in hot water over recent comments that appeared on NY1 and a campaign flyer that was recently handed out. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
During a news conference on a gun bust earlier this week, Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes made what his reelection campaign now calls a casual remark. But that remark is getting a lot of attention.
When asked where the gun smuggler lived and if he had a job, Hynes responded with, "What are we talking about my opponent?"
It drew a big laugh from the room including the police brass. But now supporters of Ken Thompson, who beat Hynes in the Democratic primary, say the remark was racist and compared Thompson to a criminal.
"DA Hynes' general election campaign is premised on an unfounded allegation largely designed to scare white people," said City Councilman Brad Lander.
Hynes is running as a Republican and Conservative. His campaign says the remark was not racist.
"Dean let's go to the video tape. You were there," said Hynes Campaign Spokesperson Jerry Schmetterer. "Anyone who took that as a racist remark and took that as the DA calling Ken Thompson a criminal is really totally misunderstanding."
At that news conference, after everyone laughed, Hynes added, "That is the laugh line. I have no idea, i have no Idea. Have a great day guys. I have to go campaign guys."
But Ken Thompson says it's insulting and thinks it's intentional.
"That is something that shouldn't happen. It shows his utter desperation to cling to power. It shows that he can't deal with the fact that he lost and the election wasn't even close," Thompson said.
Thompson supporters say they're also outraged by a Hynes Campaign flyer that reads, in part, "District Attorney Charles Hynes put corrupt political boss Clarence Norman in jail. His opponent let convicted felon Clarence Norman run his campaign. Don't let a convicted felon run the district attorney's office."
Ken Thompson denies Norman was in charge. The Hynes campaign says the flyers won't be distributed any more.
"The DA did not mean they were racist. A lot of people will look at them and say that they weren't racist. But they seem to offend some people, they are gone," Schmetterer said.
Meantime, it's doubtful the heated rhetoric by both sides is going to die down any time soon.