Call them surprise witnesses.
Some two dozen demonstrators rocked the rally held by District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes on Tuesday to announce his political resurrection on the Republican ticket.
Representatives from child advocacy group Voice of Justice pulled off a guerilla protest at Hynes’s press conference on Oct. 8, suddenly unfurling signs and chanting slogans the moment the incumbent stepped up to the microphone.
The demonstrators held up signs reading “Hynes Lies Again,” and chanted “Goodbye Joe” and “Hynes Must Go” as the borough’s top prosecutor tried to speak. Hynes supporters at the event struck back by shouting “Let’s go Joe” and waving Hynes campaign posters. Several skirmishes broke out between the two camps as opponents and supporters pushed each other and ripped signs out of one another’s hands. When the shouting died down, Hynes attacked the protestors for what he claimed was an attempt to blockade democracy and prevent a multi-party election.
“I don’t mind dissenters, you can yell all you want. I just ask you listen to what I have to say,” said the veteran district attorney, who lost the Democratic nomination on Sept. 10, but decided to continue campaigning for reelection on the Republican and Conservative party lines.
But demonstrators argued that Brooklyn had already rendered its verdict on Hynes, when Democratic voters backed challenger Ken Thompson by a double-digit margin on primary night. Voice of Justice leaders warned that a continued Hynes administration would be disastrous for Orthodox Jewish youth, accusing the lawman of overlooking rampant child molestation in that community, at the behest of powerful rabbis in exchange for votes.
“Our position is whether you’re a black child, a white child, a Jewish child, you have a right to be protected,” said Voice of Justice president Mark Appel.
Appel himself resides in Florida, though his group is based in Midwood.
Several protesters unaffiliated with Voice of Justice wore shirts reading “Free John Giuca,” for the Flatbush youth Hynes’s office successfully but controversially prosecuted in 2005 for the murder of New Jersey man Mark Fisher.