While smoking a cigarette off school property in 2011, Alberto Willmore, then a New York City public school teacher, was suddenly approached by a police officer who accused him of smoking a marijuana cigarette, he tells Buzzfeed in a devastating new video.
Willmore, who was beloved by students and fellow faculty members at the Ella Baker public school in Manhattan, was arrested and immediately barred from teaching. The arrest and his suspension have since triggered a chain of devastating effects for Willmore.
His story is a common one under Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, as marijuana arrests have soared over the past 12 years. In fact, more people are arrested for possession than any other crime, and 85 percent of those arrested are black or latino.