More than $20K raised for NYC public defender Victoria Ruiz

NEWS: More than $20K raised for NYC public defender Victoria Ruiz

The New York public defender who resigned last week when she was caught tearing down posters of the hostages missing in the Israel-Hamas War is receiving assistance from her friends — who say she is “under attack” and have launched a fundraiser to help her with bills.

The fundraiser titled “Defend our amazing friend” launched on Nov. 6, one day before news broke that Victoria Ruiz, 36, left the New York County Defender Services (NYCDS) due to backlash to footage of her ripping down one of the posters that was shared by the watchdog StopAntisemitism.

“Our incredible friend is under attack. Help out with legal fees, living costs between jobs, etc.,” the fundraiser’s description read.

“100% of the money goes directly to her immediately after your donation is processed.”

As of Wednesday morning, the campaign – which was verified to The Post by GoFundMe staff – had raised over $21,500 of its $30,000 goal.

Victoria Ruiz was caught on video tearing down a poster of a Hamas hostage.
X / @StopAntisemites

The fundraiser’s top donors included several anonymous individuals who contributed between $500 to $1,000.

The GoFundMe appears to have been started by Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, who is one of Ruiz’s bandmates in the well-known punk rock band Downtown Boys. 

“As most of you already know, my best friend Victoria Ruiz is the greatest person on earth,” DeFrancesco wrote on Instagram last week, alongside appeals for viewers to push back against the “absolutely depraved hysteria” unleashed by the “right wind operatives” who took the video.

In the viral clip, Ruiz appeared to ignore the individual who asked her repeatedly, “Why are you taking down pictures of missing children?”

Ruiz resigned from the New York County Defenders Services last week.
New York County Defender Services

Dozens of children – including a nine-month-old baby – are among the around 230 hostages who were taken by Hamas during the terror group’s incursion into southern Israel on Oct. 7.

In her resignation statement, Ruiz said that she was recorded by hecklers while attending a vigil for the Palestinian civilians killed by Israel’s retaliatory attacks on the Gaza Strip.

“I saw that one of the posters contained handwritten statements justifying the bombing of Palestinian civilians—the same people whose deaths we were there to mourn,” she explained in the two-page missive, which was shared on X by journalist Brendan O’Connor.

“I was deeply offended by the statements on the posters, and went over to take that poster down,” she continued.

Victoria Ruiz is also the front woman for Downtown Boys, a successful punk band.
Downtown Boys / Instagram

“At that point, the individual from the group approached me and started recording the video, verbally misrepresenting on the video what I was doing and what I was taking issue with.”

The NYCDS, however, slammed the attorney’s conduct as “highly insensitive” – though a spokesperson noted that Ruiz had apologized following an internal investigation.

Although the NYCDS initially confirmed that Ruiz was keeping her job, she explained in her resignation announcement that she was stepping down “on [her] own terms” due to pressure from management.

Ruiz described herself as the victim of a doxxing campaign by StopAntiSemitism, and noted that the media attention “resulted in an huge onslaught of threats to [her] personal safety.”

The GoFundMe has raised over $21,500, as of Wednesday morning.

DeFrancesco’s Instagram post also included multiple accounts from other attendees at the vigil, who alleged that the counter protestors spit on an altar that was made for a 13-year-old Palestinian victim and yelled obscenities at an otherwise peaceful crowd.

Ruiz did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for a comment.

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