We all know what happened the last time a lawyer was caught spreading antisemitic vitriol online: her hateful messages went viral and she was swiftly fired from her job. Now, another lawyer is out of a job due to her reported antisemitic actions — but this one resigned.
Until recently, Victoria Ruiz worked for New York County Defender Services. Last week, she was caught on camera tearing down posters of hostages taken by Hamas during the terrorist attack upon Israel one month ago. StopAntisemitism posted the video on X, formerly known as Twitter, which quickly went viral this past weekend.
As noted by Fox, people were shocked by Ruiz’s actions, spurring comments like these:
In the comments on the StopAntisemitism X-post, social media users torched Ruiz for brazenly tearing down the posters.
“Some of those posters display Americans kidnapped by Hamas. If she can’t defend American kids, how can she serve as a public defender in America?” one user wrote.
“As a former public defender, this is appalling. We defend all nationalities. If I were a Jew, I’d be terrified to have her as my lawyer. She must be fired immediately,” another user wrote.
As a result, according to the New York County Defender Services, Ruiz resigned from her position “effective immediately.” The NYCDS offered the following statement on the matter to 1010 WINS:
“It has come to our attention that one of our attorneys, Victoria Ruiz, recently attended a public vigil solely in her capacity as a private citizen. Some of her actions at the event have drawn sharp criticism and we strongly condemn them as highly insensitive. [Ruiz] apologized to those who were hurt or confused by her actions. After an internal review, and a pledge by all involved to do better, we accept this apology and now refocus on the vigorous pursuit of our mission: achieving justice and dignity for every individual we represent.”
Ruiz claims that her actions were “misrepresented” in the video and that she’s been falsely accused. “I regret taking down two posters that had egregious depictions and words justifying killing children,” she wrote as part of an apology note to her colleagues.
When you’re a working professional, even actions taken in your “capacity as a private citizen” can have an impact on your career. During this time of high conflict, Ruiz’s actions demonstrated a lack of discretion and poor judgment for an attorney.
NY public defender resigns after tearing down Israeli hostage posters: report [The Hill]New York City public defender resigns after being caught tearing down Israel-Hamas war hostage posters [Fox]Manhattan public defender Victoria Ruiz resigns after caught tearing down posters of kidnapped Israelis [EXCLUSIVE] [1010 WINS]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.