NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) – Family and friends of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman gathered at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on the Upper East Side on Thursday night. A handful of Hollywood’s elite made the pilgrimage to say goodbye to yet another Tinseltown legend-in-the-making whose life was cut short.
The alleged smack peddlers that the NYPD believes sold the Academy Award winner the final stash that produced his deadly fix were in Judge Edward McLaughlin’s 15th floor courtroom in lower Manhattan earlier in the day.
All were back in court seeking a release, less than 24 hours after being denied bail. Steven Turano, the attorney for Juliana Luchkiw who was charged with possession, spoke of his client’s appearance and about the notoriety attached to his client, “I don’t think she’s being used as a scapegoat. I think the attention is unwarranted.”
In response to the NYPD taking such a pro-active approach in deploying personnel to corral the alleged dealers in a death caused by a drug overdose, there has been intriguing reaction on social media. Twitter had users who questioned the show of force.
Matt Curtis is with Vocal New York. The Brooklyn-based organization provides services to drug users as well as those in recovery while working with city and state lawmakers to generate more awareness of the consequences produced by the drug trade. “Drug overdose is the number one cause of accidental deaths in New York State,” says Curtis who later added he was not surprised by the show of force displayed by the NYPD in the aftermath of Hoffman’s death, saying, “No, I think it’s incredibly predictable.”
While Vocal New York helped introduce legislation in Albany last week to combat drug overdoses across the state, and specifically target areas like Staten Island to which Curtis says has logged the most heroin OD’s in the city, Curtis says notoriety is often times the only time anyone pays any attention, “It’s a shame that this thing has to happen in order to get the kind attention that we need to get the kinds of access of services.