Third suspect in Tessa Majors killing questioned and released; faculty received robocalls from White Supremacist group

A follow-up to a previous News Views article:

Two weeks after an intensive manhunt for the suspects responsible for the killing of Tessa Majors, the Barnard College student stabbed in a park near campus during what police believe was a mugging, investigators had caught a break.

Early Thursday morning, the Police Department’s chief of detectives, Rodney Harrison, announced on Twitter that a 14-year-old had been detained in the Bronx. At first, police officials had breathed a sigh of relief.

The New York Times:

Police released the 14 year-old hours later.

Controversy has already risen in this case with regards to one of the detectives working it. Memories of the Central Park Five have also been invoked in this case.

  • Defense lawyer, Hannah Kaplan of the Legal Aid Society, has said in hearings that one of the detectives badgered and yelled at the boy
  • The same defective introduced the knife into the conversation, although the boy never talked about it.
  • Video footage of the kids in the park exists but footage of the attack is quite grainy.
  • Detective Wilfred Acevedo “has been sued several times over allegations of misconduct, including false arrest, making false accusations and withholding evidence helpful to a defendant. 
  • None of the allegations were proved at trial, but the city settled some of the lawsuits out of court.”

A detective investigating the fatal stabbing of Barnard College student Tessa Majors this month, has been sued multiple times alongside other officers for allegations that include withholding exculpatory evidence and making false accusations. That detective, Wilfredo Acevedo, has already come under media scrutiny for his role in the interrogation of a thirteen-year-old suspect, who had a family member but no attorney present.

Last year, Acevedo and another detective were sued by Darius Roseborough, who claimed the pair barged into his residence without a warrant and falsely arrested him for a shooting. Roseborough alleges that Acevedo falsely claimed that the shooting victim identified him as the shooter and that police found a gun or gun parts at his residence.

The suit further alleges that police withheld exculpatory evidence from prosecutors showing that no fingerprints or DNA from the recovered gun or gun parts were linked to Roseborough. It also alleges that police withheld evidence showing that the shooting victim was in an intensive care unit and could not have been interviewed by police to make an identification.

The Gothamist:

“These allegations of a pattern of serious misconduct cast further doubt on the case against our client, and given Acevedo’s long problematic history of violating New Yorkers’ constitutional rights, he simply cannot be regarded as credible,” the Legal Aid Society said in a statement.

Faculty and staffers at Barnard College received repugnant racist robocalls on the school’s phones in the wake of a student’s murder, with administrators asking the NYPD to investigate, the Daily News has learned.

“The contents of this message … are abhorrent and viciously racist,” read the terse five-sentence letter sent to the Columbia community. “We write to let you know that we are actively looking into this with the NYPD and are working to block the caller … We take this attack on our values very seriously.”

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