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Killer Cop, Officer Richard Haste Escapes Trial for the Death of Ramarley Graham

Posted March 7, 2016

NEWS ANALYSIS

The family of Ramarley Graham may never see their sons killer brought to justice.

The family of Ramarley Graham may never see their sons killer brought to justice.

New York – Federal prosecutors closed the investigation into a cop who fatally shot an unarmed Black teen in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother in their Bronx home. Feds decided there was insufficient evidence for a criminal civil rights case against, still employed Officer Richard Haste.
Graham’s family denounced the decision. “Same as usual — Black lives don’t matter,” said Graham’s father, Franclot, according to NY1 News. “Ramarley’s life will always matter to us.”
The shooting occurred in the Bronx on February 2, 2012, after Graham ran to his home with officers in pursuit, prosecutors said. The shooting prompted angry street protests in Graham’s Wakefield neighborhood. Some critics blamed the incident on the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk program.
Haste and other members of the street narcotics enforcement unit followed Graham to his home from a drug-dealing hot spot after hearing on their radios the teen was observed with a gun in his waistband.

Richard Haste never lost his job and continues to receive annual pay increases since the shooting.

Richard Haste never lost his job and continues to receive annual pay increases since the shooting.

Police contend Graham ran to his house when officers told him to stop. But surveillance video shows him walking into his house, followed by plainclothes cops seen trying to kick down the front door. Once inside, Haste insists, he identified himself as a cop and fired at Graham point-blank in the bathroom of his house after mistakenly believing he saw a gun, police officials said. Cops found a bag of marijuana near Graham’s body and suspected he was trying to flush it down the toilet. However, no weapon was found in the house.
Graham’s grandmother, Patricia Hartley, 58, has said Haste and a team of cops burst into their E. 229th St. home without a warrant and killed her grandson in front of her and his little brother without identifying themselves.
Ramarley Graham

Ramarley Graham

      In the aftermath of the shooting, several news outlets reported that Haste, who joined the force in July 2008, had never received specialized training for the street narcotics enforcement unit.

Federal prosecutors determined that there is insufficient evidence to meet the high burden of proof required for a federal criminal civil rights prosecution.
Graham’s family, their lawyer and local officials voiced disappointment with the decision. “The family is devastated and frustrated,” said Jeffrey Emdin, a lawyer representing the Graham family.
The family has demanded that Haste be fired immediately. The officer has been on desk duty and has continued to receive pay increases while NYPD Internal Affairs investigates the shooting. Haste, 34, earned $88,614 in 2015 and has received $25,000 in raises since gunning down Graham in 2012, according to The Huffington Post. Haste currently works in the department’s motor fleet division, fixing NYPD squad cars.
Before he was placed on modified duty, Haste earned $53,000 with $9,000 in overtime pay and $4,800 in miscellaneous pay. Today, the officer has an earned salary of $76,000 with $2,000 in overtime pay and $10,147 in “other pay.”
In 2013, a Bronx Supreme Court judge dismissed a manslaughter indictment against Haste based on instructions given by the prosecution to the grand jury regarding communications among officers before the shooting.

Court decisions lead to heightened protests over the injustice of Graham's murder.

Court decisions lead to heightened protests over the injustice of Graham’s murder.

“This latest development is an outrage,” Diaz said. “At a time when the issue of police-community relations has been at the forefront of American discourse — especially the treatment of minorities by those charged to protect and serve them — the U.S. attorney’s office has failed to set an example for our nation.”
Stuart London, Haste’s attorney, said his client looks forward to resolving the police department’s internal investigation. “My client is gratified that he will not face a federal civil rights prosecution,” London said. “There are no winners when there is a loss of life.
In the criminal case that was eventually thrown out, the indictment alleged that Haste acted “recklessly” and killed Graham “with intent to cause serious physical injury.”
After Barrett read his decision, Constance Malcolm, Graham’s mother, yelled, “He killed my child!”
Last year, family received a $3.9 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

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