An attorney who threatened to call immigration enforcement on restaurant workers who angered him by speaking Spanish has had a complaint filed against him with a disciplinary committee that oversees lawyers in New York state.
The clip of the man yelling in a Manhattan restaurant went viral Wednesday, and he was identified through social media as attorney Aaron Schlossberg.
In the video, Schlossberg said he would be calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement to have the workers "kicked out of my country." He complained to another restaurant employee that "it's America" and that in a Manhattan eatery "staff should be speaking English."
The clip quickly sparked outrage among many critics, including U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who wrote to the state court system, which has a grievance committee for attorney complaints.
Espaillat and Diaz, both Democrats, called the video "vile" and said "the audacity to profile and verbally assault innocent bystanders and customers in a public commercial location is a violation of our civil society."
It was unclear what action the disciplinary committee could take, if any. A message left with the committee was not immediately returned.
Schlossberg also didn't respond to a call and an email seeking comment. In a video posted by the New York Daily News, Schlossberg is seen holding an umbrella in front of his face as he avoids reporters.
The social media furor turned up more instances of a man who appeared to be Schlossberg getting irate with others. One clip was posted to YouTube in October 2016 by a man who said Schlossberg attempted to shove him on a sidewalk before threatening to call the police. Another from May 2017 appeared to show the attorney berating a group of Jewish protesters who were speaking in support of a Palestinian American activist.
Schlossberg's biography on his website says he focuses on commercial and insurance coverage issues. It says that besides English he speaks Spanish, French and some Hebrew and Chinese.
The company that runs the building Schlossberg uses as his law firm's address said Thursday that his agreement with it had been terminated because his actions "were contrary" to its rules and regulations.
New York City has a human rights law that protects against discrimination and harassment based on immigration status or national origin. The city's Commission on Human Rights can investigate potential violations and levy fines.
The commission said it was aware of the Schlossberg matter but wouldn't comment on whether it was or would be the subject of an investigation.
New York has always been diverse, and there are anywhere from 600 to 800 languages spoken in the metropolitan region, said Ross Perlin, co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance.
"This is the most linguistically diverse city," he said, "not only in the world but in the history of the world."