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NY Marijuana Smoker Dies in Confrontation with Cop

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #712)
Consequences of Prohibition

[Editor's Note: Drug War Chronicle is trying to track every death directly attributable to domestic drug law enforcement during the year. We can use your help. If you come across a news account of a killing or death related to drug law enforcement, please send us an email at [email protected].]

A College of Staten Island employee died November 29 in a confrontation with an NYPD officer after he was caught smoking marijuana in a campus bathroom. Cory Holmes, 39, becomes the 46th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

Police sources told the New York Daily News that the police officer confronted Holmes after smelling pot smoke coming from a bathroom stall occupied by the off-duty member of the college's auxiliary service. Holmes attempted to flee, but was wrestled to the ground in a school parking lot.

Police said Holmes attempted to grab the officer's gun during the struggle, but no shots were fired. Two civilians who witnessed the confrontation came to the officer's aid and helped as he handcuffed Holmes, who then went into cardiac arrest.

Holmes was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The unnamed officer was treated for minor injuries and released.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


KeLeMi (not verified)

Reminds me of a line in Tom Paxton's song "What did you learn in school today?".


I learned that policemen are our friends

I learned that justice never ends

I learned that murderers die for their crimes

even if we make a mistake sometimes.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 3:24pm Permalink
Big Al the Lad… (not verified)

I suprised he wasn't shot by the "off-duty aux officer". If he was off-duty then where was his gun ? Sounds like another testilying cop wanna be and another senseless death due to the stupid "war on drugs".
Wed, 12/07/2011 - 5:18pm Permalink
strangepuppy (not verified)

In reply to by Big Al the Lad… (not verified)

The article CLEARLY says NYPD.

What I find VERY disturbing is that two "helpful citizens" helped kill this man who was most likely medicating for pain. I can't imagine why a college employee would smoke in a rest room otherwise.

NYPD is running amok, beating people, using pepper spray, and just being bullies in general.  The Staten Island cops that I've known were just happy drunks. Now, murderers. I doubt that man was reaching for the gun, more likely the cop (the coward cop) made that claim to cover obvious brutality.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 6:33pm Permalink
jobs jobs nobs… (not verified)

hope the stupid cops get's some help with his problems. kill a man in america for smokeing a joint. has new york ran out of real crine?

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 8:47pm Permalink
tempname_56913 (not verified)

I don't think it's fair to hate the cop on this one. If this was any other criminal we'd all be happy that he was behind bars. Let's not forget that he did put the officer's life in danger by reaching for the weapon. I think it's a damn shame that he died, but this wasn't because of the cop's actions. Try not to blame the wrong people. 

Fri, 12/09/2011 - 12:46pm Permalink

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