MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, Manhattan — City leaders and the family of Tessa Majors are responding after the head of the NYPD sergeants’ union claimed Sunday that the college student was in the park to buy marijuana the night she was stabbed to death.
Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins made the claim in an interview with John Catsimatidis on his The CATS Roundable radio show on AM 970.
“What I’m understanding is [she was] in the park buying marijuana,” Mullins said while breaking down the chain of events, and potentially revealing new information in the case.
The NYPD had no comment on Mullins’ claim when PIX11 reached out Sunday, but the statement was slammed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Think of Tessa’s parents, her friends. This is heartless. It’s infuriating. We don’t shame victims in this city,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Majors’ family responded to the union head’s claim in a statement Monday morning.
“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 statement reads.
“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.”
Also responding Monday was NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. “The way it came out seemed very victim shaming-ish, which was so disappointing, Williams said of Mullins’ comments.
“We have a young woman who was killed… We have a 13-year-old who was arrested… There’s nothing good about this situation,” he said.
Mullins released a statement attempting to clarify his comments Monday.
“Nothing I said was intended to demean Ms. Majors’ memory, nor besmirch her character,” he said in part. “Ms. Majors is clearly a victim in every sense of the word. Mayor de Blasio and other critics have taken and twisted the words in my interview to redirect the message of my actual comment: that non-enforcement of minor crimes in this City has contributed to an undisclosed rise in the rate of crime in many of the City’s neighborhoods, Morningside Park included.”
Police sources told PIX11 Monday that although Majors had a small amount of marijuana in her possession, she was not buying marijuana from her alleged attackers.
Majors, a freshman at Barnard College, was stabbed multiple times while she was walking in Morningside Park near West 116th Street Wednesday evening, police said.
The teen staggered up the stairs of the park and was found by a campus guard on post. Majors was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
A 13-year-old boy has since been arrested in connection to the death. He faces murder and weapons charges, according to officials.
Law enforcement sources told PIX11 that a 14-year-old boy was also taken into custody for questioning, but the NYPD said Sunday they only had a 13-year-old suspect.