After Release of Arrest Video, Ramarley Graham’s Family Files FOIL Request to Uncover Truth

By Sameer Rao Sep 29, 2016

Barely a week after the New York Police Department (NYPD) announced a disciplinary trial against Officer Richard Haste for his role in the shooting death of Ramarley Graham, a new surveillance video of the arrest and a lack of answers from city officials has prompted Graham’s family and supporters to file a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for offical records.

The 2012 video, published today (September 29) by the New York Daily News, shows paramedics moving Graham’s body on a backboard and putting him on a stretcher. One paramedic appears to cover Graham’s face with a sheet before partially pulling it back; Graham’s mother Constance Malcolm told the Daily News that this suggests Graham was killed inside the house, contrary to the city’s report that he died in the hospital.

"Why did they throw a sheet over him, and then peel it back?" she said. "Because there were a lot of people watching, and they wanted to make it seem like he was still alive." Malcolm further said that if her son was dead, then officers "disturbed the crime scene."

Graham’s family, along with supporters, went to New York City Hall today to file the FOIL request for records from City Hall and the NYPD relating to Graham’s death and officers’ alleged investigative misconduct and intimidation directed toward the family. The FOIL request specifically demanded information related to the following: 

NYPD Officer Richard Haste’s shooting and killing of Ramarley Graham on February 2, 2012; the underlying circumstances; misconduct related to the shooting, investigations into the shooting, and statements, made to or by the NYPD to the media and/or prosecutors; investigations, disciplinary actions and prosecutions undertaken or contemplated regarding the shooting and related events (such as leaking confidential information to the media related to Mr. Graham and the shooting); the outcomes of any such investigations, disciplinary actions, or prosecutions; relevant NYPD procedures and practices; communications between the NYPD and City Hall and other agencies about Mr. Graham’s shooting or related investigations, disciplinary actions and prosecutions…

"We are filing this request for City Hall and NYPD records to bring about the needed government transparency and accountability for police misconduct that is the key to ending these killings," Malcolm said at a press conference today. "Mayor [Bill] de Blasio’s failure to hold police accountable for abuses and misconduct is exactly the problem fueling the crisis of police violence around the nation that continues to allow people to be unjustly killed by police here in NYC and elsewhere."

(H/t The Wall Street Journal)