As the investigation continues surrounding the death of Barnard College student Tessa Majors, police officials are already saying things that feel very familiar when it comes to Black victims of murder.
According to New York Daily News, the Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins did a Sunday radio interview and said based on Major’s murder last week in Morningside Park, “she was in the park to buy marijuana.”
“And you think about that, we don’t enforce marijuana laws anymore. We’re basically hands-off on the enforcement of marijuana,” Mullins said. “So here we have a student murdered by a 13-year-old and we have a common denominator of marijuana. You know, my question to the people of New York City is, ‘Why is this happening?’”
Mullins immediately got slammed for his remarks, especially from the family of Majors. “The remarks by Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins we find deeply inappropriate, as they intentionally or unintentionally direct blame onto Tess, a young woman, for her own murder,” the family said in a statement. “We would ask Mr. Mullins not to engage in such irresponsible public speculation, just as the NYPD asked our family not to comment as it conducts the investigation.”
Interestingly enough, the media and the cops love to criminalize Black victims of police murder before an investigation even has time to warm up. When Botham Jean was killed by former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger in his own home, police somehow leaked information from the investigation that marijuana was found in his apartment at the time of his death.
A key witness in the case who was also murdered, Joshua Brown, was also singled out for past crimes or drug possession. Authorities claim he was killed in a drug deal gone wrong, although questions still remain about how he was murdered after a high-profile case and before a civil trial being brought against the city of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department. With the absence of Brown’s witness testimony, which many folks credit for Guyger’s conviction, the Dallas Police Department has more of a chance to defend itself in court.
The investigation for Majors’ death is still underway and the NYPD hasn’t said for certain why she was in the park the day of her death. So far, a 13-year-old has been arrested who cops say admitted that he was on the scene with two other teenagers. One 14-year-old was also arrested, but later released. The other teenager, who is 16, was believed to be the stabber but hasn’t been arrested yet.