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Parents of Ramarley Graham Condemn Judge’s Decision to Dismiss the Indictment of NYPD Officer Richard Haste
May 15th, 2013 – Today the family and community members of Ramarley Graham gathered at the Bronx Hall of Justice to condemn Judge Steven Barrett’s announcement to dismiss the indictment of NYPD Officer Richard Haste.
“If it means going back to the grand jury or if we have to ask the federal court to deal with this case; we are going to keep fighting no matter what,” said Frank Graham, father of Ramarley Graham. “Where ever it leads us we will go there. We will never stop until justice is served in this case, until Richard Haste goes to prison for murdering our son. If we start over, we will start stronger!”
On February 2, 2012, narcotics officers followed Bronx resident Ramarley Graham home, broke down his door and killed him in his bathroom. Officer Richard Haste, who fired the bullets that killed Graham, claims he believed the 18-year-old had a gun, yet no gun was found at the scene. A Bronx grand jury indicted Haste on two counts of manslaughter; the first indictment of an NYPD officer for killing a civilian since 2006. Last week, the judge presiding over the Haste case, Steven Barrett, announced he was considering overturning the indictment based on a technicality. The judge had concerns about the way the Bronx District Attorney’s office instructed the grand jury.
The case of Ramarley Graham is not an isolated incident. Over the past couple decades, dozens of police killings of New Yorkers have occurred at the hands of the NYPD. Prosecutions of these injustices have been inconsistent, often either never occurring or unsuccessful.
· In 2012, Noel Polanco was killed by Detective Hassan Hamdy in a case of road rage. A Bronx grand jury failed to indict the detective.
· In 2008, Iman Morales was killed when the NYPD shot him with a Taser gun while he was on the ledge of his apartment building in Brooklyn. The officer who fired the Taser was not only not indicted, he later received a promotion.
· In 2006, Sean Bell was killed by police in Queens on the night before his wedding day in a hail of 50 police bullets. The officers responsible were acquitted in a case brought by the Queens District Attorney.
· In 1999, Amadou Diallo was killed by the NYPD in a hail of 41 police bullets, simply for holding a wallet. The officers responsible were acquitted of all charges.
“I am angry and can not express my feelings alone,” said Constance Malcolm, the mother of Ramarley Graham. “I am ready to take it to the streets and the highest of the highest. Please be prepared for a major protest.”
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