Hawk Newsome's transformation from failing politician to rogue BLM leader.
Hawk Newsome, the activist who threatened "bloodshed" following a sit-down with Mayor-elect Eric Adams earlier this week, is a rogue militant and failed politician who prefers to wander through his Bronx neighborhood wearing a bullet-proof vest and chewing on a huge cigar.
Newsome's fiery words and criticisms of the national Black Lives Matter movement garnered him international attention but also cemented his status as a pariah among civil rights leaders. And, as The Post has found, the IRS revoked his group's charity status for failing to file financial records.
When Adams, a former NYPD captain, pledged Wednesday to resurrect the force's divisive Anti-Crime Unit, which was dissolved last year following widespread anti-police protests, Newsome, 44, promised absolute anarchy.
"There will be riots," he predicted outside Brooklyn Borough Hall following their closed-door discussions. "There will be bloodshed and there will be flames."
On Thursday, while waiting for a flight at JFK Airport, Newsome responded to the threats with a social media post. "Mayor-Elect Eric Adams wants to restore the NYPD Anti-Crime squad that murdered SEAN BELL, AMADOU DIALLO, and ERIC GARNER," Newsome said in an Instagram post to his 29,200 followers, referring to many New York City victims of police violence. "We cannot allow such to stand.... Both you and I are aware that we are up against a violent and evil society."
The towering former Bronx District Attorney's paralegal, who is over six feet six inches tall and weighs 250 pounds, now co-owns a political consulting firm with his younger sister, Chivona Newsome. Additionally, in 2016, the two co-founded New York Black Lives Matter Inc, a charity with a Bronx address. The non-profit organization's charitable status was terminated two years ago after it failed to file financial reports with the Internal Revenue Service for three consecutive years, according to public records.
However, the group continues to solicit funds via its Web site, directing visitors to make one-time or recurring payments using PayPal and credit or debit cards. The group sells sweatshirts bearing the "BLM New York" emblem and the slogan "Donald Trump is a White Supremacist," stating that purchasing them "is the most effective method to help our organization."
Newsome, whose given name is Walter, has never been a member of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the movement's national wing, which has no time for his self-styled leadership.
"Hawk Newsome is not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Global Network... and is not the 'president' of BLM or any of its chapters," Kailee Scales, a managing director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, stated last year on the group's Web site.
Meanwhile, Newsome has railed against the Global Network's leadership, slamming former co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors following The Post's April revelation that she went on a real-estate shopping spree, purchasing four high-end residences in the United States for $3.2 million.
"If you walk around claiming to be a socialist, you have to wonder how much of her own money she donates to charity causes," he told The Post. "It's quite tragic because it causes people to doubt the movement's legitimacy and to disregard the fact that the movement is carried by the people."
However, BLM's animosity toward Newsome dates all the way back to 2017, when Newsome identified himself as a BLM leader and addressed a group of Donald Trump supporters in Washington, DC. Although the speech went viral, garnering national media attention and even acclaim, he was chastised by the movement's leadership for speaking at a conservative event.
Newsome, a high school dropout who has spoken candidly about his struggles with drinking, domestic abuse, and anger difficulties, earned his GED and attended Concordia College in Bronxville before earning his law degree from Touro College. He is the father of William, a teenager who lives with him, as well as the father of Assata, a four-year-old girl.
"We don't want white folks moving in and increasing our rents," he told The Post last year of the neighborhood in the South Bronx near Yankee Stadium. "You cannot be a supporter of black people and gentrify their area at the same time. Keep your f–k away from our community."
Newsome formerly worked as a community organizer in the Bronx and ran for the borough's City Council in 2013. He received only 3% of the vote in the contest, losing to Vanessa Gibson, the West Bronx's current City Council Member. His sister lost her own 2020 primary run for the 15th Congressional District seat.
Following his own electoral defeat, Newsome changed his name to "Hawk" and began demonstrating against the police following George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2013. He stated that it was Garner's July 2014 death, which resulted in the dismissal of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, that prompted him to become a full-time activist.
"We marched in the aftermath of his death," he wrote in a 2019 opinion piece for USA TODAY. "We marched when a grand jury declined to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo. We marched in memory of the numerous other black men and women who have died at the hands of police without receiving justice – moms, fathers, sons, and daughters. We continue to march and see no justice."
His speech has become more inflammatory. "If this country does not give us what we want, we will burn this system down and replace it," Newsome stated last year in a Fox News interview. "Are you all right?" And I may be speaking metaphorically. I could be referring to anything literal. It is open to interpretation."
Newsome, who has referred to the US government as "terrorists," was successful in shutting down the George Washington Bridge temporarily last year, mobilizing 100 demonstrators in protest of police brutality.
He describes himself as a grassroots organizer, has spoken out against vaccine requirements (which he has dubbed "racist,") and says on his Web site that his organization "was the first group in New York City to endorse Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez."
Thursday, The Post's calls to Newsome went unanswered.