Last week a female student from Barnard College was found murdered in a New York City park. Shortly after, several young teenage boys – including a 13-year-old – were arrested for her murder.
On Sunday, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association – a police union – made a comment on a radio program that the victim, Tessa Majors, was in the park to buy marijuana.
“An 18-year-old college student at one of the most prestigious universities is murdered in a park, and what I’m understanding, she was in the park to buy marijuana,” Mullins said on John Catsimatidis’ radio show.
“And you think about that, we don’t enforce marijuana laws anymore. We’re basically hands-off on the enforcement of marijuana,” Mullins add. “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?’”
The New York Daily News reported that police have not confirmed if what Mullins said was true. The outlet reported that Majors’ boyfriend said she was jogging in the park. The 13-year-old arrested for his role in the murder said he and his friends chose to rob Majors as she jogged down the steps of Morningside Park.
Even if what Mullins said was true, it had no bearing on Majors’ murder. Her reason for being in the park did not cause her murder – the three young men who killed her were responsible.
In a statement published Monday by NBC New York, Majors’ family slammed Mullins for his remarks about Tessa.
“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 Majors family said Monday. “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.”
The family went on to say that they still want to know “what exactly happened to Tess and who committed her murder.”
“We believe, for the immediate safety of the community and the surrounding schools, that should be everyone’s top priority and we are grateful to the men and women of the NYPD for all of their efforts,” the family continued.
Majors had moved to New York this year to attend Barnard College as a freshman. She was interested in music and “sang and played guitar in a band called Patient 0, which recently played its first concert in New York,” The New York Times reported.
On Friday night, the 13-year-old charged in Majors’ murder said during a court hearing that he and his friends put Majors in a chokehold and started robbing her. The young woman fought back and was able to bite one of the attackers on their finger. The teens then stabbed her and left her for dead.
NBC reported that Majors was able to find a security guard outside the park and ask for help. She was taken to a hospital but died soon after.