The Manhattan public defender who was caught on camera tearing down posters of hostages missing in the Israel-Hamas war sings in a punk rock band who are signed to the indie label that launched the careers of bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden.
Victoria Ruiz, 36, was seen in a viral video last week ripping down posters of the hostages in New York City and ignoring a woman who repeatedly asked her why she was taking down “pictures of missing children.”
The New York County public defender was identified as the person tearing down the posters in the video by nonprofit watchdog StopAntisemitism.
In addition to her job defending financially strapped Manhattan suspects, the controversial lawyer fronts The Downtown Boys, a five-piece punk outfit with a horn section that Rolling Stone once called “America’s most exciting punk band.”
The band, formed in Rhode Island in 2011, put “politics front and center” and are known for their “insane shows,” the magazine wrote in 2016.
In between songs, Ruiz connects America’s slave trade to modern-day corporations, landlords and the police before diving into fiery performances that rev up their moshing fans, according to the article.
They are signed to Sub Pop records, the legendary Seattle indie label that catapulted grunge into the mainstream and became a household name in the early 90s on the strength of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Green River.
The label has also launched bands like Death Cab for Cutie and Fleet Foxes and its current roster includes Beach House, Built to Spill and The Shins.
The Downtown Boys has covered “L’Internationale,” a 19th-century French song that has become something of a communist and anarchist anthem.
“A wall is a wall, and nothing more at all,” Ruiz sings on one of the band’s most popular songs “A Wall,” in a possible reference to barricades that separate Israel from Gaza, which has been under an isolating blockcade since 2007 in response to the terror group Hamas’ rise to power in the disputed region.
“Not one step back on our wave of history.. I can’t look back on our wave of history,” Ruiz yells on one of the
Despite the band’s political songs, its most listened-to track on Spotify is an energetic cover of Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 single “Dancing in the Dark,” complete with the tune’s classic saxophone riff.
The band has not released an album since 2017 but is fresh off a September tour that started in the Bushwick, Brooklyn venue Elsewhere and took them to France, Italy, The Netherlands and Germany, according to its Facebook page, where detractors took aim at Ruiz.
“Protects these killers Victoria Ruiz,” a commenter wrote after the pro-Palestine punker was outed by the organization Stop Antisemitism.
“Why did your singer rip off posters of kidnapped Israeli’s ?,” wrote another.
“Time for this band to break up,” a third said.
The band did not immediately return a request for comment to The Post, nor did Sub Pop.
The New York County Defender Services told The Post Monday that her actions were “highly insensitive,” but said that she was allowed to keep her job after apologizing and promising to “do better.”
About 235 hostages – including dozens of children — are believed to be held by Hamas, taken during its Oct. 7 coordinated attack on Israel that killed 1,400 people.
The militant group said Saturday that some 60 of the captives were missing or trapped due to ongoing Israeli air strikes. Israel denied the claim, which could not be independently confirmed.
With Post wires