Sunday, April 5, 2015

A New York teen dies as a consequence, arguably, of marijuana prohibition

Opponents of marijuana reforms have, understandably, made much of any deaths in Colorado that might be reasonably linked in some way to marijuana legalization.  But this sad story from New York, headlined "Bronx Teenager Who Fell From Roof While Fleeing the Police Dies," provides an example of a death that might be reasonably linked to marijuana prohibition:

A Bronx teenager who fell off the roof of a six­story apartment building on Thursday while fleeing police officers died of his injuries on Saturday at St. Barnabas Hospital, the police said.

Authorities said Hakeem Kuta, 17, was with a group of other teenagers who were smoking marijuana Thursday evening in the lobby of the apartment building at 2685 Valentine Avenue in the Bronx. A man who exited the building complained to four uniformed officers, who then entered the lobby.

When Mr. Kuta and several others ran to the roof, two officers chased them. All but Mr. Kuta and a 14­-year-­old were able to elude the police. With officers shouting, “please don’t move,” Mr. Kuta tried to step over a short wall at the edge of the building but stumbled, officials said. The 14­year­old grabbed for Mr. Kuta’s vest as he fell, officials said, but he was not able to hang on.

The Police Department said that the officers appeared to have acted appropriately. After Mr. Kuta fell, officers raced from the roof to give first aid, officials said. Officer Maria Imburgia applied chest compressions until paramedics arrived. Officers made no arrests on Thursday evening, though marijuana was found in the lobby.

Criminal justice developments and reforms, Current Affairs | Permalink


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