cityhall.jpgAs if the whole failed Sonny Carson street naming proposal brouhaha needed more wackiness! Today, The New York Sun takes a look at City Councilman Charles Barron's chief of staff, Viola Plummer. During the Sonny Carson street naming debate, Plummer heckled City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and later threatened an assassination "on" another member, Leroy Comrie, who abstained from voting. Barron had laughed the incident off as political squabbling between political opponents, but one couldn't help be reminded of the assassination of Brooklyn Councilman James Davis in 1994

It turns out that the 70-year-old grandmother of ten has a record of radical activism and was once arrested for conspiring to help two people, imprisoned for roles in an armored car robbery that resulted in the the deaths of two policemen and a bank guard, break out of prison. Barron praised his 70-year-old staffer and considered giving her a raise for not succumbing to the "foolishness that Comrie is promoting."

The Sun also reports that Plummer is a member of the New Afrikan Freedom Fighters, a currently inactive radical group that is monitored by Homeland Security (the group was once described itself as an anti-capitalist group committed to seceding and forming an independent black state in the U.S., "by force if necessary").

This could all be written off as a tempest in a teapot initiated by the inflammatory rantings of an insensitive old lady, but it has resulted in two death threats against Councilman Barron on the message boards of a site called NYPD Rant. The site is popular with current and retired police officers, all authorized to carry guns, and both posts said that "someone needs to put a bullet in [Barron's] head." It's run by Edward Polstein, an 18-year-veteran of the police who was fired by the NYPD for running the site a few years ago. Marquez Claxton, a co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, is urging a thorough investigation of who made the threats.

We personally can't remember the last time city politics got this nutty, or dangerous sounding. Can anyone? We do have to agree with Council Speaker Quinn on one point, however: Sonny Carson is officially a divisive figure in NYC.

(City Hall, by triborough at flickr)