A 13-year-old suspect is in custody related to the murder of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors, with police still seeking other suspects, but her killing has become what the New York Daily News calls a "political football," drawing in New York City's mayor, the head of the NYPD's union, and the issue of marijuana legalization. On Sunday, Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins appeared on a local radio show and said he'd heard Majors was in Morningside Park to buy marijuana when she was stabbed to death Wednesday, adding, "And you think about that, we don't enforce marijuana laws anymore." Although the Daily News says the NYPD hasn't confirmed Mullins' claim—Majors' boyfriend says she was just going for a jog in the park—police sources tell the New York Post the pot lead is being investigated after they received a tip from one of Majors' friends at Barnard.
Mullins' remarks are now drawing ire from Mayor Bill de Blasio and others who say the union chief shouldn't be saying such things, or trying to push his own political agenda about pot legalization. "Think of Tessa's parents, her friends," de Blasio tweeted in response to Mullins' comments. "This is heartless. It's infuriating. We don't shame victims in this city." NYC public defender Scott Hechinger also took issue with what Mullins said, posting that "the NYPD is weaponizing Tessa [Majors'] murder to attack reductions in marijuana enforcement & the prospect of legalization. Never fails." Mullins' response to de Blasio's reported surprise on Majors' murder, per the Post: "I really have to question what world he's living in to think that this is surprising," especially with "a hands-off policing policy." (The 13-year-old suspect says he wasn't the one who killed Majors.)