On 4th Anniversary of NYPD Killing of Ramarley Graham, His Famiy & Supporters Demand Accountability and Justice from Mayor de Blasio, NYPD
On the four year anniversary of Ramarley Graham’s killing by NYPD officers, his parents – Constance Malcolm and Frank Graham – were joined by the mother of Eric Garner, Gwen Carr, and the family members of other New Yorkers killed by the NYPD to demand accountability in the killing of Ramarley Graham. Along with elected officials and community supporters, they called on Mayor de Blasio and his administration to take action to remove the officers from the NYPD.
“Four years after killing our son, NYPD Officer Richard Haste and the other officers responsible are still members of the police department being paid with our tax dollars, and Haste has received nearly $25,000 in pay raises since shooting Ramarley in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother,” said Constance Malcolm and Franclot Graham, the parents of Ramarley Graham. “Mayor de Blasio may not have been in City Hall when Ramarley was killed, but if he’s truly committed to real reform that holds police officers accountable for violating their fundamental oath to ‘serve and protect,’ then he needs to remove these officers from the NYPD. Killing an unarmed teenager after forcing yourself into his home without legal justification, followed by consistently abusive treatment of his grieving family members, warrants dismissal. We demand that the Mayor de Blasio and city government unequivocally stand up against wrong-doing by those acting on its behalf, and the record is clear in the killing of our son Ramarley.”
Ramarley’s parents entered City Hall to hand-deliver a letter addressed to Mayor de Blasio and Chirlane McCray that had been sent on Monday, the day before the anniversary of Ramarley’s death: https://goo.gl/mzaUXx
The unarmed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was killed by NYPD Officer Richard Haste in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother after officers unlawfully busted into their home without a warrant or cause on February 2, 2012. Immediately after shooting her grandson, Officer Haste cursed and also threatened to shoot his grandmother. She was then separated from her six-year-old grandson who had just witnessed his brother being killed, and questioned for seven hours while refused access to a family legal representative. When Ramarley’s mother attempted to pick her up, she was assaulted upon entering the precinct.
A Bronx grand jury indicted Haste on two counts of manslaughter, but Judge Steven Barrett dismissed the indictment due to a prosecutorial error made by the Office of Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson. On August 8, 2013, a second grand jury decided not to re-indict Haste, but the U.S. Justice Department indicated it was reviewing the case. The Department of Justice has been fully investigating since 2014, after Ramarley’s parents – with support from New Yorkers from across the city – delivered over 33,000 petitions to Bharara and the Justice Department demanding it prioritize a full investigation.
None of the officers involved in the killing of Ramarley Graham, the scene or aftermath have been held accountable by the police department. NYPD Officer Richard Haste, who shot and killed Graham, is still employed by the NYPD and has received multiple salary increases of nearly $25,000 over the four years since he killed Graham.
“What are we supposed to think when our top city officials allow cops who have unjustly gunned down a youth in his own home to keep NYPD jobs and even receive pay raises?” said Loyda Colon, Co-Director of the Justice Committee. “They certainly cannot expect us to believe that they really care about New Yorkers’ safety. It's been four years and Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton have done nothing to hold the cops who killed Ramarley accountable, proving they are complicit in his death.”
The de Blasio administration and NYPD have attempted to deflect attention by claiming it must wait until the Justice Department makes its decision before taking disciplinary action, but past police killings indicate that is not true. In the 1994 police killing of Anthony Baez, the officer who killed him was dismissed from the NYPD after being acquitted in state court of killing Baez and before he was indicted by the federal Department of Justice on civil rights charges.
The killing of Ramarley Graham has garnered unified calls for justice from around the country. National civil rights organization, ColorOfChange, organized a petition signed by tens of thousands of its members. In April 2014, the chairs and members of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus and the New York City Council Black, Latino & Asian Caucus sent letters to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting an official investigation by the Department of Justice into the death of Ramarley Graham.
“It’s time to stop sidestepping the issue and face the fact that there was police misconduct in this case -- and that’s putting it mildly,” said Council Member Andy King, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus of the City Council. “Four years ago, an unarmed Bronx teenager was killed by the police. Here we are, four years later Mr. Mayor, and we’re still having this conversation. Four years later! Four years later! Seriously? It’s your move Mr. Mayor; you must do something.”
Constance Malcolm – the mother of Ramarley – was one of several family members of New Yorkers killed by police, who led advocacy efforts that moved Governor Cuomo to issue an executive order to authorize a special prosecutor for police killings of civilians. The executive order is not retroactive, and the families’ efforts were intended to advance justice for New Yorkers who may face similarly tragic circumstances in the future.
PHOTO: https://goo.gl/ZwK5iK (Ramarley’s father Franclot Graham speaks; to his left Ramarley’s mother Constance Malcolm; to his right Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, and to her right Natasha Duncan, sister of Shantel Davis
PHOTO 2: https://goo.gl/TOCCuu (From r. to l. – Ramarley’s father Franclot Graham, Ramarley’s mother Constance Malcom speaks, Ramarley’s sister, and Natasha Duncan, the sister of Shantel Davis)
PHOTO 3: https://goo.gl/ueLwzQ