NYC protest organizer questioned after threat to take violence to Diamond District: 'Gasoline ... is awfully cheap'

A man identifying himself as "Ace Burns" delivered an ominous threat to New Yorkers Saturday during a live interview on Fox News, warning that protesters could set fire to Manhattan's storied Diamond District if New York leaders don't meet their demands.

"Today, I'm giving a demonstration from Barclay's Center at 6 p.m. to City Hall, and that's the first stop -- and we're hoping [Mayor] De Blasio and [Gov.] Cuomo come out and talk to us and give the youth some direction," he told Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich.

"But if they don't, then [the] next stop is the Diamond District," he said, referring to a block on Manhattan's 47th Street known for jewelry shops. "And gasoline, thanks to Trump, is awfully cheap. So we're giving them a chance right now to do the right thing."

The NYPD said it "identified the man [and] took him in to be interviewed" later Saturday.

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During his earlier interview, he also showed an "#FTP" hashtag apparently written in marker on his arm. "You know, I'm a leader of this FTP movement. It means a lot of things. It can mean free the people, it can mean for the people, it could also mean fire to property -- and that's very possible."

When asked when the protests would end, the man said that was the wrong question. "The question should be what policies are we going to enact to make people feel safe?"

After his comments aired, Fox News' Eric Shawn condemned the apparent threat. "That person was basically suggesting that they plan to go to the diamond district which is run basically by Orthodox Jews here in New York City -- certainly hope that is not the case and we do not endorse -- in fact, we condemn that type of language here on the Fox News channel," Shawn said.

The NYPD, mayor's office, and governor's offices did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

A Twitter account bearing Burns’ name showed him in a video purportedly outside of Barclay’s Center, where he says he’s starting a “revolution.”

A LinkedIn profile that appeared to belong to Burns said that he serves as the founder of Koinda Records. That company was also found on a Facebook profile that appeared to belong to him. His Linkedin includes a status about a black man who claimed he was racially profiled at Best Buy. “This has to end!!! Racism in our society has to become unacceptable, period!!” the status reads.

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New York City has seen peaceful protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in the custody of a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. But the protests have also morphed into violent riots, looting, and clashes with police in New York and around the country.

Thousands of protesters streamed into the nation’s capital Saturday for what was expected to be the city’s largest demonstration yet against police brutality while George Floyd was remembered in his North Carolina hometown, where hundreds of mourners lined up to pay their respects.

Fox News' Jacqui Heinrich and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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