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Ramarley Graham’s family and supporters call for firing of officers

3/10/2016, 3:30 p.m.
Two days after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced he would not pursue charges against the officers responsible for killing Ramarley ...
Assemblyman Charles Barron and Council Member Inez Barron Nayaba Arinde

Two days after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced he would not pursue charges against the officers responsible for killing Ramarley Graham, Graham’s parents and supporters turned their attention to Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bratton, demanding they fire all the officers involved in the killing and subsequent treatment of the family and incident.

None of the officers responsible for busting into Ramarley’s home without legal justification, killing him, threatening, assaulting and mistreating his family members after his killing, and giving false information about the events have been held accountable by the 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.

“After four years, there has been no justice or accountability – NYPD officers murdered our son in his home,” said Constance Malcolm and Franclot Graham, the parents of Ramarley Graham. “He was doing nothing wrong, he should have been safe at home. NYPD busted in without a warrant and then abused and intimidated members of our family while releasing misleading and inaccurate information about the killing. The criminal justice system on the local and federal levels have failed to demonstrate a commitment to valuing and protecting Black lives. Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton are part of this injustice and devaluing of Ramarley’s life as long as they allow these officers to continue receiving paychecks as NYPD employees."

As part of the family’s demands, national civil rights organization, ColorOfChange, launched a petition aimed at Mayor de Blasio.

On the February 2nd fourth anniversary of Ramarley’s killing this year, his parents hand-delivered a letter to City Hall calling for the firing of all the officers involved. Commissioner Bratton has previously asserted that the Justice Department requested the NYPD hold off on its disciplinary process for the officers. However, the Office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara denied that request ever occurred in its meeting with the family, the Justice Committee and Communities United for Police Reform on Tuesday, March 8. History also demonstrates that such a restriction on the NYPD taking disciplinary action is not based on anything outside of the city’s power. After 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.

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 legal justification on February 2, 2012. Immediately after shooting Graham, Officer Haste cursed and 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 arrived at the precinct to ask what had happened to her son and find her grandmother, she was assaulted by officers. The City “misplaced” Ramarley’s body for four days after he was killed.