Life of a cop ruined, life of a pot smoker ruined, life of another officer shakened up, over the failure of war on drugs. According to the Daily News:
A pot-smoking suspect beat and choked a petite Manhattan cop so brutally she may never be able to return to work, police sources told the Daily News.
Officer Renee-Maria Sampson and her partner Temeisha Hoyte, both four-year NYPD vets, were patrolling a building in the Lillian Wald Houses on the lower East Side on Nov. 23 when they spotted Pedro Urena holding a lit joint, authorities said.
The cops called for backup, but before other officers arrived, Urena attacked, punching them both and slamming them against a wall, according to a complaint.
Next, he grabbed each cop by the neck and tried to choke the life out of them, according to police and a criminal complaint.
“At one point, Urena takes them and hits their heads together,” added one source. “Then he tried to drag both cops into his apartment.”
Backup officers arrived just in time, and Urena was arrested.
But Sampson had an asthma attack, fell to the ground and slammed her head, police said. She temporarily lost consciousness and had at least two seizures.
Sampson said she didn’t want to use her gun for fear she would shoot her partner because of the proximity, a source said.
The 29-year-old officer has yet to return to work. At 5-feet-2 and 105 pounds, she was overpowered by Urena, who is 5-feet-11 and 180 pounds, the source said.
The NYPD is considering a change in how officers are trained to deal with combative suspects, another source said. That source noted that “maybe the cops could have stayed back and waited for backup.”
I don’t advocate physically assaulting people like Urena did in this case. Yet, I’d like you to consider what Urena was facing. He most likely knew the police were on to him and that he was carrying an ‘illegal’ item. His choice at that moment was to let the police arrest him and go to jail or try to escape. Urena choose the latter and though it’s really sad what happened to the tiny NYPD officer, she was engaging in activity that puts her in such scenarios.
Maybe now the 5-feet-2, 105 pound officer will consider joining LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or will think twice before trying to jail some on for possession of a plant. After all, it’s your body and you are free to put what you want in it without fear of arrest or extortion.