Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham death
On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham’s mother joined elected leaders and advocates to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to formally investigate Graham’s death.
Constance Malcolm joined state senators front the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Caucus and City Council members in front of the U.S. District Court on Wednesday after the elected leaders sent letters to Attorney General Eric Holder.
“I was unable to celebrate Ramarley’s 21st birthday last Saturday or his last two birthdays, and instead have been forced to memorialize his life,” Malcolm said in a statement.
Malcolm described the Justice Department as the only recourse left for her to get justice for her son’s death.
In August, a Bronx grand jury declined to indict the police officer who fatally shot Graham in his own home the year before. It was the second attempt at charging Officer Richard Haste for manslaughter.
Months earlier, a judge dropped the original indictment against Haste after an assistant district attorney due to a semantic mistake in his remarks to the grand jury on whether or not Haste’s conduct was reasonable.
Graham died in 2012 after Haste, who at the time had served in the force for four years, and other undercover street narcotics unit officers investigating a drug deal chased the teenager home in Wakefield.
The officers said they thought Graham had a gun in his waistband when they followed him in, chasing him to the bathroom where he allegedly flushed away small amounts of marijuana and where Haste shot Graham.
“The fact that there has not been a thorough and exhaustive investigation into the death of Ramarley Graham compounds the tragedy this family has faced,” Assemblyman Karim Camara, said in a statement. “From an alleged gun that was never discovered to the callous manner in which this family alleges they were treated by NYPD — there are too many unanswered questions.”
Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria