Cop Who Shot Ramarley Graham Hit With Manslaughter Charges
The NYPD officer who fatally shot an unarmed teen earlier this year has been indicted on manslaughter charges and turned himself in to police just a few hours ago.
NYPD Officer Richard Haste surrendered through a side door at the Bronx Criminal Court about 7:30 a.m. just before friends and relatives of the victim, 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, walked into the courthouse in a single-file line with their hands on the shoulder of the person in front of them.
"It's always difficult but he's being very strong. He understands the seriousness of these charges and he also feels for the family," Haste's attorney, Stuart London, told reporters. "He understands the tragic nature that there's a loss of life. At this point he is surviving the day and we'll move forward and get ready for trial."
Graham was fatally shot by Haste -- a four-year NYPD veteran -- on February 2, after members of an undercover street narcotics unit saw him on the street and thought he was acting "suspiciously."
The officers followed him into his apartment at East 229th Street and busted into the bathroom where he was hiding -- guns blazing.
Haste fatally shot the teen as he was trying to flush a small amount of marijuana down the toilet. As we mentioned, Graham was unarmed.
The case got the attention of Reverend Al Sharpton, who led protest rallies demanding that Haste be charged with a crime.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch issued the following statement earlier this week:
We look forward to a complete review of the facts in this case which will demonstrate that this police officer believed that he was pursuing an armed felon who bolted rather than be caught with an illegal gun. Several members of the officer's team had confirmed the presence of a gun and that constituted a grave danger to the officers and the community. We believe that this officer will be exonerated at trial.
The Bronx District Attorney's Office says D.A. Robert Johnson will address the media later today. Check back for updates.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.