2006_05_queensseal.jpgThe hate crime trial of Nicholas Minucci, aka Big Nick, began yesterday at the State Supreme Court in Queens. The Queens DA's opening statment argued that Minucci and his friends wanted to intimidate and injure Glenn Moore because he was black, while Minucci's defense lawyer Albert Gaudelli said their dispute was "minor dustup between six young men," especially since Moore and a friend were in the neighborhood to steal. Gaudelli also called the 19 count hate crime trial a politically motivated attempt to bolster black support for Mayor Bloomberg right before reelection. There's a lot of media attention on this case, so much so that the judge had to tell the courtroom "it's not Yankee Stadium, or the movies."

There's much discussion about Minucci's use of "the n word" right before the attack. The Queens DA says the case is more than the word. Still, the NY Times looked at how the Queens neighborhood speaks with a "hip-hop accent" these days on Sunday and today, the Daily News' Errol Morris writes about its usage in culture while the News' Michael Daly just calls Minucci stupid.