NYC Teen Suspected of Smoking Cannabis Dies After Falling from Building to Escape Police

By Reuters

Hakeem Kuta.
Hakeem Kuta.
NEW YORK, NY — A 17-year-old boy died on Saturday from injuries he sustained falling six stories from a New York City building rooftop as he tried to escape police investigating a report of teenagers smoking marijuana, law enforcement said.

Hakeem Kuta, of the Bronx, died Saturday morning after being in critical condition for nearly two days, police said.

Kuta fell from a roof ledge as he and a 14-year-old friend attempted to escape police, who repeatedly told the teens to stop and “relax,” a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said.

Read moreNYC Teen Suspected of Smoking Cannabis Dies After Falling from Building to Escape Police

Brooklyn District Attorney to Immediately Stop Most Low-Level Cannabis Prosecutions

Brooklyn, New York District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced in a memo released Tuesday that his office would no longer be prosecuting most low-level cannabis offenses, a policy change which is staunchly opposed by the New York Police Department.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

Under the new policy, which takes effect immediately. Thompson’s office will no longer prosecute cannabis possession charges when the individual has no prior criminal record, or at least no violent record. The policy change will include charges where a person is caught possessing cannabis in public due to the New York’s Police Department’s (NYPD) infamous ‘stop and frisk’ policy; smoking cannabis in public however, may still be prosecuted.

Read moreBrooklyn District Attorney to Immediately Stop Most Low-Level Cannabis Prosecutions

New Video Shows Consequences of Cannabis Possession Arrests in New York City

By Drug Policy Alliance

Last night, BuzzFeed released a gripping video [which can be found below] aboutcannabisarrest one New Yorker’s harrowing experience of being arrested for marijuana possession.  A Marijuana Arrest tells the story of former Manhattan Public School art teacher Alberto Willmore, who recounts how his life was upended after NYPD officers aggressively seized and charged him with marijuana possession. Mr. Willmore immediately lost his teaching job, spent nearly two years fighting the case in court, and – even though the case was thrown out – he was still penalized by his employer, the Department of Education.

Read moreNew Video Shows Consequences of Cannabis Possession Arrests in New York City

Federal Judge Rules New York ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policy Unconstitutional

“No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life”, states U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ruled today that New York City’s infamous ‘stop and frisk’ policy is unconstitutional and violates basic human rights.

Advocates marching for an end to New York's 'Stop and Frisk' Policy in January
Advocates marching for an end to New York’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policy in January

According to Scheindlin, this policy – which allows police to have individuals empty their pockets, regardless of previous wrongdoing, only to arrest them if they find anything illegal, such as cannabis or other illegal drugs – leads to “indirect racial profiling”, and that the city’s top officials have “turned a blind eye” to the inappropriate use of this already-unconstitutional policy.

Read moreFederal Judge Rules New York ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policy Unconstitutional