New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov was kissed by a stranger on the street while conducting a TV interview on Thursday.
Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, who represents New York City’s 48th District and is the council’s minority whip, was speaking to CBS New York reporter Hannah Kliger in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brighton Beach when a man walking by leaned and kissed Vernikov on the cheek before smiling and continuing to walk down the street.
“What the f—?” the councilwoman responded, whipping her head around to get a look at the stranger. Brighton Beach is one of the areas represented by Vernikov, a business owner and attorney who was elected in 2021.
— Hannah Kliger (@HannahKliger) August 18, 2023
Vernikov sarcastically responded to the incident under a video of the incident posted by Kliger on X, formerly known as Twitter, writing, “Not the kind of love I’d expect from constituents!” The councilwoman later called the incident creepy.
“This is abhorrent and disgusting,” New York City Councilwoman Lynn Schulman of District 29 wrote in support of Vernikov. “Hope the assailant is found. Sadly, this type of unacceptable behavior typically happens to women, even in 2023. Am standing with you @InnaVernikov.”
Another X user told Vernikov that she “had every right to punch [the stranger] in the throat,” to which the councilwoman replied, “I was too caught off guard by the time I wanted to, he was gone.”
“Disgusting,” posted one X user under Kliger’s post. “Should be arrested.”
Another user wrote, “So sorry you had to witness this and for the councilwoman to experience this.”
“Y’all are the ones that want a society with no laws,” wrote another.
The incident occurred the same week that New York City Mayor Eric Adams made comments about “eye candy” in relation to his signing of an outdoor dining bill on Wednesday in the Bronx, in which sidewalk cafes can remain open throughout the entire year.
“Bring your boo to a restaurant, you know, someone you’re trying to keep your marriage together. A little outdoors will help you,” Adams said on Wednesday. “Come and try it, man. You’re looking to date, you may drive by, you may see eye candy sitting down somewhere, you may want to park and come and slip them your number. Hey, listen, come have fun, man. Outdoor dining is the way to go.”