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Bronx Teen Fleeing Cops Over Marijuana Falls to His Death

A Bronx teenager has died two days after falling from the roof of a six-story apartment building as he fled police who were chasing a group of young marijuana smokers. Hakeem Kuta, 17, becomes the 17th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

Hakeem Kuta (family photo)
According to The New York Times, citing NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis, four probationary NYPD officers were approached Thursday evening by a man who told them about "kids in the lobby of the building smoking pot," and the officers went to investigate.

Davis said one of the teens "impeded" the cops by sticking his arms out as they came to the door and that six or seven more fled up a staircase headed to the roof.

Two of the officers, Edmundo Rivera and Eduard Solano, chased them onto the roof, where the kids split up, with four going in one direction, hopping to the roof of the neighboring building, and getting away. But two others, including Kuta, ran in the other direction and ended up penned in at roof's edge by a wall on the neighboring building.

"Please don't move, please don't move," Davis quoted the officers as telling the two teens. But Kuta tried to step over a short wall on the edge of the roof he was on, but instead began to fall. His friend grabbed his vest, but could not hold him.

"He was gone, you're talking seconds," Davis said.

Kuta landed in the alley six floors below, critically injured. He died Saturday at St. Barnabas Hospital.

Police said they recovered marijuana in the building, but made no arrests in connection with the incident.

Kuta had no criminal record. He was born in Ghana and came to the US with his parents and a younger sister three or four years ago, a relative said.

New York, NY
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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I am no fan of the police

I am no fan of the police when it comes to the "Drug War" and some other things..but I can find no fault here...This incident could have happened if cannabis was as legal as beer. When underage people are using and someone complains, they have to investigate...that the young fellow panicked and fell is a tragedy but I can't see how this might a "Drug War" death

It's still part of the war on drugs - the underage division

I wish the cops had backed off and left the roof on the grounds that it was too dangerous and not worth the risk the kid was putting himself in. 

u can't see this as a drug

u can't see this as a drug war casualty? r u blind?! do u not see the absurdity of having a dogmatic age limit applied to drug use, and how this results in all sorts of casualties? don't get me wrong, i don't equate children with adults, but there's still 2 points to be made here. first it's absurd to have dogmatic legal distinctions that are totally arbitrary and capricious, as are now made to determine 'adults' from children (there is a scientific distinction to be made, based on the age of puberty, which is almost always well under whatever legal limits apply). second, to not apply any common sense to 'law enforcement', to treat what are at worst minor transgressions as 'crimes' to be addressed by pursuit, capture, and punishment, is clearly a case of prohibition causing more harm than good.

sheeple, wake up! dogmas are far more harmful than 'drugs'. just say no to dogmas! (and the stupid and harmful prohibitions that arise from dogmatic thinking).

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