Richard Haste, the cop who shot and killed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, feels “terrible” about the unarmed teen’s death, but thought he was in “mortal danger” when he pulled the trigger, according to the Daily News.
Haste told a co-worker he thought the Bronx teen had a weapon that fateful Feb. 2.
A source told the News: “He thought he was carrying, that’s why he did what he did. He had a split second to react.”
“He didn’t want the kid to die. He feels bad. But it happened very fast.”
Here’s what happened that day: Cops from NYPD’s street narcotics team chased Graham into his parents apartment. They thought he had a gun, they claim.
The officers then busted into the Williamsbridge household, the News notes, and found Graham in the bathroom.
Haste fired, killing Graham “as his grandmother and 6-year-old brother looked on.”
Turns out, Graham didn’t have a weapon: only a small bag of pot was recovered near his body. Haste and Scott Morris, another officer present, have since been “stripped of their badges and guns.”
Lawyers for Graham’s family told the paper that they are not satisfied with Haste’s remorse. Meanwhile, the Bronx District Attorney is weighing whether to press charges against Haste.
The incident has not only prompted uproar among the city’s African-Americans: Many civic leaders are demanding that the NYPD be held accountable in its dealings with minorities — and reconsider controversial stop-and-frisk tactics.