NEW YORK CITY - The family of murdered college student Tessa Majors is speaking out Monday against claims from a New York City police union boss that she was looking to buy marijuana around the time of her death, calling them “deeply inappropriate” and “irresponsible”.
Majors, an 18-year-old Virginia native who was in her freshman year at Barnard College, was found stabbed to death Wednesday inside Manhattan’s Morningside Park. Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins on Sunday suggested that Majors was in the park because she was looking for marijuana – and his union is now engaged in a war of words with Mayor Bill de Blasio over those claims.
“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,” her family said in a statement 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.”
Police have released few details surrounding the circumstances of the Charlottesville native's stabbing, but have arrested and charged a 13-year-old boy with second-degree murder, first and second-degree robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.
The uproar began Sunday when Mullins appeared on ‘The Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis’ radio program and spoke about Majors, whom he described as a “young girl with a bright future, from a good family.”
“We have an 18-year-old college student at one of the most prestigious universities in the country is murdered in a park,” Mullins said. “And what I’m understanding is she was in the park to buy marijuana.
“You think about that -- we don’t enforce marijuana laws anymore, we are basically hands off on the enforcement of marijuana,” he continued. “Here we have a student, murdered … and we have a common denominator of marijuana.”
De Blasio blasted the comments later Sunday.
“Think of Tessa’s parents, her friends. This is heartless. It’s infuriating,” he wrote on Twitter. “We don’t shame victims in this city.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association then pushed back against the Democrat’s criticism, posting on its Twitter account that “heartless is you allowing lawlessness to run the city of NY.
“You’ve weaken the NYPD. This young lady should still be alive. Tell the TRUTH Bill. Tell New Yorkers what really happens in the streets of NYC. This girl was an innocent victim. YOU have created chaos! Tell the truth!” it said.
On Monday morning, the Sergeants Benevolent Association took another dig at De Blasio, claiming that “NYC is becoming a cesspool thanks to the Mayor.”
“Shame on DeBlasio,” it tweeted.
Majors’ family, in their statement, said it is “interested in knowing 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 statement read.
“Our family would like to thank the thousands of strangers who have taken the time to console us, share in our grief, and let us know we are not alone during this terrible time,” it added. “Tess would not have been surprised by this beautiful reminder of our shared humanity.”