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January 17, 2016

World\’s First Pot Mini Mall

World’s First Pot Mini Mall – Wikinews, the free news source

World’s First Pot Mini Mall

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Trinidad Holdings Company, LLC, a Colorado Limited Liability Corporation, announced its award of a conditional use permit which allows for up to five distinct marijuana dispensary tenants. The property owners have named the building the “World’s First Pot Mini Mall”, the first building of its kind known to exist anywhere in the world.

The permitted approval, granted by the city of Trinidad Colorado, includes an elevation of a five panel sign across the top of the site where each panel is made of one of the words “World’s” “First” “Pot” “Mini” and “Mall”.

Trinidad is a city of 9300 people situated directly along the major highway Interstate 25 which runs from New Mexico to Wyoming. Trinidad started licensing recreational marijuana retailers in early 2015 and is now home to seven stores. With the addition of the pot mall and the current applications on file the city is estimating it may be home to eighteen recreational marijuana stores before the middle of 2016. The majority of the operators seem to expect an increasing amount of tourist traffic from the 35 million people who live within twelve hours’ drive of the site.

The site owner (potmalls.com) hopes the doors will be up open to the public by mid April but the tenant are required to get a state license first and their has been a slight backup at the state licensing office.



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September 28, 2015

Twenty-six pounds of flying marijuana punctures woman’s carport

Twenty-six pounds of flying marijuana punctures woman’s carport

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Monday, September 28, 2015

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View of Nogales, AZ
Image: Jim Greenhill.

After hearing a loud thud at her home in Nogales, Arizona, Maya Donnelly thought there may be a storm raging outside, she thought nothing of it, and went back to sleep. Yet later that morning she discovered her carport had hole in it, and her plastic dog house was destroyed.

Donnelly later discovered inside the dog house, wrapped up in black packaging, what later turned out to be a twenty-six pound bundle of marijuana. Police believe the bundle, valued at nearly $10,000, was accidently dropped by a plane smuggling drugs across the border. Police told Donnelly that an airplane trying to smuggle marijuana from Mexico had probably miscalculated the drop of that particular bail, and that the rest of the load was more than likely dropped farther north.

Nogales Police Chief Derek Arnson said it was the first time in his three-year tenure that he had seen a package of drugs hit a building. ‘Someone definitely made a mistake – and who knows what the outcome of that mistake might be for them,’ he said.

Luckily for Donnelly, her German Shepherd Hulk, was not sleeping inside the dog house at the time. ‘Thank goodness he is a wanderer at night and was not in his house,’ Donnelly said. ‘He was probably at the gate watching the plane go by.’



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August 26, 2015

Springfield, Illinois registers first medical marijuana dispensary

Filed under: Cannabis,Disputed,Health,Illinois,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Springfield, Illinois registers first medical marijuana dispensary

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

As the debate of the legalisation of medical marijuana continues, Marion, Illinois, has registered the first medical marijuana dispensary in the state. It has been released that the dispensary will be called ‘Harbory’. Projects and social media campaigns are underway, with the dispensary set to open in late November, early December.

Availability of the marijuana from crop farmers determines when this dispensary will open up and begin to distribute the product.

Those able to purchase the product must be suffering from one of the 40 registered medical conditions (such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease), however 11 other qualifying conditions may soon be added to this list.

This dispensary files under the Pilot Program for Medical Cannabis. Signed in August 2013, and made effective in January 2014, this program developed by the state of Illinois covers the use of alternative treatment with medical marijuana on patients with life-threatening or debilitating diseases. With the registration of this dispensary we may notice others register state, possibly even nation wide.



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April 22, 2014

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate \’green\’ on city green

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coinciding with Easter Sunday, Glasgow Cannabis Social Club’s annual 420 event was held on Glasgow Green, under sunny blue skies, and overlooking the river Clyde. Despite the city’s council attempting to revoke permission for the gathering at the last minute, police were happy for it to go-ahead with approximately a dozen officers attending in high-visibility vests.

Setting up the stalls, with the river Clyde and Adelphi distillery as a backdrop
Image: Brian McNeil.

Good weather, albeit tempered with a cool breeze, saw higher numbers than the prior year’s event
Image: Brian McNeil.

Glasgow Green, in the East End is the city’s oldest park
Image: Brian McNeil.

A speaker from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) explained his organisation’s position on cannabis
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police were in-attendance from early-on, with Monday’s issue of the Daily Record reporting five arrests, but no trouble
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A section of the crowd, with the People’s Palace in the background
Image: Iain Macdonald.

One of the bands setting up to entertain the crowd
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A neon-bright sign for the Glasgow branch of the UK Cannabis Social Club
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Small stall, with obvious pro-cannabis signage
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Home-made sign for the Legalise Cannabis Campaign Scotland
Image: Iain Macdonald.

View of stage from partway up the hill
Image: Iain Macdonald.

People buying refreshments from the stall
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Several attendees wore clothing with slogans openly advocating cannabis
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A view of the tents over the stage and stalls from across the Clyde
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Attendees watch the stage entertainment while police look on
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Small groups of attendees regularly walked away from watchful police once it was made clear people would be arrested and cautioned for smoking
Image: Iain Macdonald.

View of the stage area from opposite bank of the Clyde
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Trumpet player in one of the Reggae bands that performed
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A small stand offered hydroponic supplies
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Clear view of the hemp products stall
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Close-up of some hemp-based products on sale
Image: Iain Macdonald.

The Daily Record reported five arrests were made for minor offences, likely smoking and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Taking a less-sensational — and more accurate — line of reporting, the Monday edition of Glasgow’s Evening News stated five were referred to the Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for deciding if charges should be brought.

Official figures provided by the police were that 150 attended. With people coming and going, Wikinews reporters estimated upwards of 200 attended, compared to nearly 700 who had signed up for the event on Facebook. Hemp goods were advertised and on sale at the event, and some attendees were seen drinking cannabis-themed energy drinks.

“I was searched and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which is a lot of bollocks)” one attendee noted online, adding “not fair to happen on a brilliant day like it was, other than that I had a great day!” A second said they were openly smoking and ignored by police, who “were only really focusing on people who looked particularly young”.

Cannabis seeds were openly and legally sold at the event and a hydroponics supplier brought a motortrike towing an advertising trailer. Actually growing cannabis is, however, illegal in the UK.

With the event openly advocating the legalisation of cannabis, speakers put their arguments for this to a receptive crowd. Retired police officer James Duffy, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, spoke of the failed United States alcohol prohibition policy; stressing such policies needlessly bring people into contact with criminal elements. Highlighting other countries where legalisation has been implemented, he pointed out such led to lower crime, and lower drug use overall.

One speaker, who produced a bottle of cannabis oil he had received through the post, asserted this cured his prostate cancer. Others highlighted the current use of Sativex by the National Health Service, with a cost in-excess of £150 for a single bottle of GW Pharmaceuticals patented spray — as-compared to the oil shown to the crowd, with a manufacturing cost of approximately £10.

Similar ‘420‘ pro-cannabis events were held globally.


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December 2, 2013

Police report drug haul seizure worth up to £30 million in Brownhills, England

Police report drug haul seizure worth up to £30 million in Brownhills, England

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Location of West Midlands within England

Police in the West Midlands in England today said nearly 200 kilograms worth of drugs with value possibly as great as £30 million (about US$49 million or 36 million) has been seized from a unit in the town of Brownhills. In what an officer described as “one of the largest [seizures] in the force’s 39 year history”, West Midlands Police reported recovering six big cellophane-wrapped cardboard boxes containing cannabis, cocaine, and MDMA (“ecstasy”) in a police raid operation on the Maybrook Industrial Estate in the town on Wednesday.

Cquote1.svg The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated Cquote2.svg

Detective Sergeant Carl Russell, West Midlands Police Force CID

The seized boxes, which had been loaded onto five freight pallets, contained 120 one-kilogram bags of cannabis, 50 one-kilogram bags of MDMA, and five one-kilogram bricks of cocaine. In a press release, West Midlands Police described what happened after officers found the drugs as they were being unloaded in the operation. “When officers opened the boxes they discovered a deep layer of protective foam chips beneath which the drugs were carefully layered”, the force said. “All the drugs were wrapped in thick plastic bags taped closed with the cannabis vacuum packed to prevent its distinctive pungent aroma from drawing unwanted attention.” Police moved the drugs via forklift truck to a flatbed lorry to remove them.

Detective Sergeant Carl Russell of West Midlands Police’s Force CID said the seizure was the largest he had ever made in the 24 years he has been in West Midlands Police and one of the biggest seizures the force has made since its formation in 1974. “The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated”, he said. “The drugs had almost certainly been packed to order ready for shipping within Britain but possibly even further afield. Our operation will have a national effect and we are working closely with a range of law enforcement agencies to identify those involved in this crime at whatever level.”

Expert testing on the drugs is ongoing. Estimates described as “conservative” suggest the value of the drugs amounts to £10 million (about US$16.4 million or €12 million), although they could be worth as much as £30 million, subject to purity tests, police said.

Police arrested three men at the unit on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug. The men, a 50-year-old from Brownhills, a 51-year-old from the Norton area of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, and one aged 53 from Brownhills, have been released on bail as police investigations to “hunt those responsible” continue. West Midlands Police told Wikinews no person has yet been charged in connection with the seizure. Supplying a controlled drug is an imprisonable offence in England, although length of jail sentences vary according to the class and quantity of drugs and the significance of offenders’ roles in committing the crime.



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June 5, 2013

Scottish court jails Joseph Kearins for culpable homicide of Jordan McGuire

Scottish court jails Joseph Kearins for culpable homicide of Jordan McGuire

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

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A judge at the High Court of Justiciary in Glasgow, Scotland yesterday sentenced Joseph Kearins to eight years in prison after he pled guilty to culpable homicide. The 23-year-old fatally injured his friend, 23-year-old Jordan McGuire, when he stabbed him in a Glasgow apartment on October 1, 2012, according to BBC News Online.

Cquote1.svg If you keep drinking you will have no future and will continue to offend Cquote2.svg

Judge Lady Scott

The court was told of how Kearins had got into an argument with McGuire after consuming what judge Lady Scott called a “staggering amount of alcohol” and diazepam. McGuire, who had also been consuming alcohol and drugs at the time, attacked Kearins during the argument. “It was Mr McGuire who started the fight and you were subjected to a quite serious assault,” the judge said.

During the fight, Kearins took hold of a knife from the kitchen of the Shettleston Road flat and stabbed McGuire through his heart, causing him to collapse. The judge commented on how Kearins “expressed remorse at the scene”. The court was told that as McGuire was dying of his injuries, Kearins said: “Don’t die. What the fuck have I done?”

The court was told of how Kearins had experienced a problematic childhood in which he had commenced consuming cannabis when he was aged nine and had been committing offences as young as twelve. Kearins had 23 prior convictions.

After being initially charged with murder, Kearins gave a guilty plea for the lesser charge of culpable homicide. Derrick Nelson, the defence counsel, said Kearins “has always accepted responsibility for stabbing Mr McGuire. He is remorseful for what he did.”

As well as the eight year prison imprisonment, judge Lady Scott also sentenced Kearins to a four month supervision order after his release from prison as she considered him a public threat. As she passed sentence, Lady Scott warned Kearins: “If you keep drinking you will have no future and will continue to offend.”



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September 13, 2012

Northern Ireland police arrest man over 38kg cannabis seizure

Northern Ireland police arrest man over 38kg cannabis seizure

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

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An unidentified 28-year-old man has been taken into custody after police in Northern Ireland seized a large amount of cannabis upon the planned police raid of a house in the town of Magherafelt Tuesday. The seizure, which contained 38 kilograms (84 pounds) of cannabis resin, reportedly had an estimated street value of £380,000 (US$612,000 or 474,000).

A later police search of a vehicle also uncovered a large quantity of money. The cannabis is to be examined by forensic investigators.

“This is another brilliant success in the fight against drugs for the Magherafelt area,” said Chief Inspector Sam Donaldson, Magherafelt’s area commander. “This seizure was as a result of information received from the public and I am extremely grateful to the community for their assistance in this investigation.”



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May 3, 2012

Obama responds to criticism over medical marijuana raids

Obama responds to criticism over medical marijuana raids

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Official portrait of U.S. President Obama.
Image: Pete Souza, The Obama-Biden Transition Project.

States that have been raided by federal authorities. Source: Americans for Safe Access
Image: Patmhickey.

In a Rolling Stone magazine interview on Wednesday, United States President Barack Obama responded to recent backlash over his alleged policy shift on medical marijuana.

In January 2004, then-Illinois Senator Obama said, “The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our nation’s marijuana laws.” Since he took office as president, over 170 raids have been conducted on medical marijuana facilities across the U.S.

In the U.S. certain states have voted to allow for the use of marijuana for medical purposes, although it is still illegal to possess and consume under federal law. This has led to the recent raids and seizures on dispensaries by authorities with the federal government.

“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” President Obama said. “I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana – and the reason is, because it’s against federal law. I can’t nullify congressional law.”

On April 2, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) raided Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California. Oaksterdam provides courses in which students can learn about the horticulture and business aspects of the medical marijuana industry, but does not distribute marijuana. Authorities confiscated marijuana plants, records, computers and seized bank accounts held by that department of the university.

“In many respects [the raids in California] are not a surprise considering that these dispensaries and cultivation centers are in violation of federal law, and always have been.” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Along with the advocates at NORML, multiple lawmakers have written letters to President Obama criticizing his alleged shift on policy. The lawmakers have also called for the federal government to allow states to regulate themselves.

While medical marijuana is legal in California, as well as sixteen other states including Washington D.C., the Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana as an illegal substance. California state law requires dispensaries to run as non-profit, and those who do make a profit are subject to getting raided by federal and local authorities. “If you grow a small amount at home or buy some off the street then he doesn’t care, that’s what they’ve said,” St. Pierre said.



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March 30, 2012

US Senator Rand Paul blocks synthetic marijuana legislation

US Senator Rand Paul blocks synthetic marijuana legislation

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Sen. Rand Paul is the junior senator from Kentucky. He took office for the first time in 2011.
Image: United States Senate.

Rep. Charles Dent, R-PA, introduces legislation (HR 1254) to ban the ingredients found in synthetic marijuana Dec. 7, 2011, on the House floor. The House passed the legislation Dec. 8, 2011.
Video: C-SPAN.

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-VA, speaks in opposition to the Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011 (HR 1254) by arguing that it is excessive in scope, imposes limits on researchers, and bypasses the existing process of banning substances. The legislation passed the next day, Dec. 8, 2011 by 317–98.
Video: C-SPAN.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is the lone holdout preventing a vote on synthetic marijuana legislation in the US Senate through a procedural block that is allowed under the rules. Until Paul lifts his block, the Senate will not be able to act on legislation that has already passed the US House of Representatives last December. Wikinews has investigated the block on the legislation.

Synthetic marijuana can be sold over the counter in some places and it is commonly known by brand names, such as “K2” or “Spice”. Other types of synthetic “designer” drugs, like “bath salts“, belong to a class of substances that are in some cases legal, though they create a health hazard, because they are declared not meant for human consumption.

At issue in the legislation is the amount of chemical substances banned, the criminalization of substances, the authority of the federal versus the state government to makes those decisions, the extent to which the product is a threat or hazard to public health and safety, and the effect such a law would have on the research of these substances. All of these issues were debated in the House. Paul has made an issue of the long prison sentences for marijuana. His critics claim he is going too far by blocking legislation. Paul, a Republican who has libertarian leanings, has argued that the states should have the authority to ban drugs.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states have a ban on both synthetic cannabinoids and substituted cathinones while 39 states have a ban on synthetic cannabinoids. Rand’s home state of Kentucky bans both. But legislation is not a perfect solution; in Cass County, Michigan, four teenagers between the ages of 13 and 14 had an emergency after using synthetic marijuana, but even though Michigan bans both, police are not sure that the substances are illegal. Chemists have to conduct tests on the products.

Although Paul is framing the issue as a legal one, the medical community has turned its attention to this new phenomenon’s impact on public health and safety. In an article that appeared in the March 2012 issue of Pediatriacs, medical researchers led by Dr. Joanna Cohen analyzed the cases of three teens who were hospitalized and treated as emergencies after an incident of synthetic marijuana use. One 16-year-old girl lost her motor skills and was unresponsive yet she had an exceptionally high heart rate and abnormal blood pressure. An 18-year-old boy was extremely sweaty, had a high heart rate and was agitated. And a 16-year-old boy had a speech dysfunction, as well as symptoms of agitation and confusion. The doctors who wrote the study say people are using this product because they believe it can give them a high similar to marijuana, however, the new drug can bring on both psychological symptoms, like psychosis and paranoia, and physical ones, such as convulsions.

One out of every nine high school students has reported use of synthetic marijuana, according to Monitoring the Future released in December 2011. The annual survey can be used to spot new trends in substance use among youth and the report included synthetic marijuana for the first time in 2011.

Poison centers noticed a sharp increase in calls reporting incidents due to synthetic marijuana. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2010 centers nationwide took 2,906 calls for synthetic marijuana cases, but by 2011, they took 6,959 calls. The problem is noticeable to local health officials, like in Syracuse, New York, which is Senator Chuck Schumer’s state, where 120 cases were reported and one health professional called it “a significant public health concern.” New York has a ban on substituted cathinones but not synthetic canabanoids, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Although the US Drug Enforcement Agency placed five substances that fall under synthetic marijuana into Schedule I on March 1, 2011, its emergency powers only last one and a half years and its ban has not stopped other substances from being used instead. Schedule I is a running list of banned chemicals.

Cquote1.svg … let us move forward with a vote Cquote2.svg

—Sen. Chuck Schumer

Three of Paul’s Senate senior colleagues say Paul should drop his block. Senators Chuck Grassley, Chuck Schumer, and Amy Klobuchar are sponsoring bipartisan legislation that aims to ban synthetic marijuana as a serious health threat. The legislation is bipartisan as Grassley is a Republican , while both Schumer and Klobuchar are Democrats. Senator Schumer, in an editorial for the New York Daily News, advocated tackling synthetic marijuana at the national level rather than at the state. Schumer’s argument is that states have tried to ban the ingredients commonly found these products but the manufacturers have the flexibility to alter the ingredients to bypass the law. Schumer said the federal government needs a proactive rather than a reactive stance against drugs. “All we need is one senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, to release his block on this legislation,” wrote Schumer. “We’re urging him to do the right thing, and let us move forward with a vote.”

Before the Senate took up the issue, similar legislation had already passed in the House. The House voted 317–98 in favor of the Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011 on December 8, 2011. Pennsylvania Congressperson Charles Dent sponsored the legislation that would add ingredients found in synthetic marijuana to Schedule I. Dent’s legislation included chemicals that are not even found in the United States at this time, but he argues that synthetic marijuana is too great of a public health threat to dismiss.

Standing in opposition to the legislation, Virginia Congressperson Bobby Scott and several fellow Democrats argued Dent’s legislation was bypassing a process for the banning of drugs that was already in place and established. Scott also argued some of the substances banned by the legislation were not even present in the United States but so far only in Europe. His colleagues argued researchers would lose the ability to conduct research freely on these substances and, as Scott noted, the legislation was seeking to ban substances but without any research to back it up.

Grassley’s legislation is named for David Rozga, an Iowan who committed suicide after using synthetic marijuana. In his speech, before the Senate, Grassley said Rozga’s situation inspired him to put forward the legislation.

For some families, the issue has also become an emotional one, as they have lost a loved one. Karen Dobner, a mother from Aurora, Illinois, is blaming Senator Paul for any deaths that may still occur because he is holding up a legislative solution to a problem that she says killed her own son. When her son Max was in college, he tried a synthetic marijuana product and had a panic attack. Dobner believes the car crash that killed her son would not have happened had he not been experiencing the symptoms of the designer drug. Now Dobner keeps calling Paul’s office begging him to stop his hold.

Senator Paul’s office was contacted by both phone and email about this report but it did not respond.



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February 4, 2012

Unarmed man killed by narcotics officer in The Bronx

Unarmed man killed by narcotics officer in The Bronx

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

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An unarmed man was killed by a New York City Police Department Narcotics Enforcement officer at his home in the Williamsbridge neighborhood of The Bronx, New York on Thursday, according to police. 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was pronounced dead at nearby Montefiore Medical Center. He was shot by a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol. The incident is currently being investigated by Internal Affairs, and a grand jury investigation is expected into whether criminal charges should be filed against the officers involved.

The incident began with Mr. Graham walking on the street near his East 229th Street home, police say. He was approached by plain cloths officers in NYPD marked raid jackets. The officers were investigating suspected drug sales at a bodega. As they were approaching, Graham fled on foot towards his home and was followed by the officers. After officers followed him into the building, he entered the bathroom. An officer ordered Graham to “Show me your hands! Show me your hands!” After he failed to comply, the officer shot Graham once in the chest.

There were no weapons found on Graham’s person or at the scene. There was a small bag of cannabis in the toilet.

Police said the officer who shot Graham and his supervising sergeant have been placed on modified duty in light of the incident. The names of the officers were not released, but the officer who shot Graham is said to be 30 years old and joined the NYPD in 2008.

Police commissioner Raymond Kelly said “We’re obviously trying to get the facts. A young man’s life was taken. … It’s the worst thing that can happen to a parent — to lose a child.” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said “We obviously have some real concerns [about the incident].”

This was the third time within a week a young man had died in a police-involved shooting in New York City. 22-year-old Christopher Kissane was killed in an alleged carjacking in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn and 17-year-old Antwain White was killed in an alleged mugging in Bushwick, Brooklyn.



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