NYPD Disciplinary Hearing Begins for Cop Who Killed Ramarley Graham

By Kenrya Rankin Jan 17, 2017

On February 2, 2012, New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Richard Haste and his colleagues entered a Bronx home without a warrant and killed unarmed, 18-year-old Ramarley Graham. While his family settled a $3.9 million wrongful death suit with the city two years ago, Haste has not faced any punishment for killing the teen in his grandmother’s bathroom.

Haste was eventually charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter, but in May 2013, a judge dismissed the indictment, saying that the jury was not properly instructed before deliberating. A second grand jury opted not to indict him three months later, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute him in 2016, citing insufficient evidence. Haste, who is White, said that he thought Graham, who was Black, was armed when he and other narcotics officers followed him home, kicked down the door of his apartment and shot him.

Today (January 17), Haste faces the NYPD’s disciplinary board. The department aims to dismiss Haste because he, as his attorney, Stuart London, told The New York Times, “exercised poor tactical judgment leading to the discharge of his firearm, resulting in the death of Ramarley Graham.” The exact charges have not be released to the public. Haste was initially stripped of his gun and badge after the shooting, but later reassigned. The Times reports that his salary has increased more than $30,000 since 2012, per Empire Center for Public Policy’s database of payrolls.

“It’s been five long years, and it’s been agony,” Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, told The Times. “We don’t even know what’s going to happen. But hopefully, they fire this man and the sergeant and the other officers.”

The trial began at 10 a.m. today. While it is open to the public, the results might not be shared—the city interprets the state’s personnel records shielding law, 50-a, as justification to withhold officer disciplinary records. The family filed a Freedom of Information Law request in September requesting Haste’s records; the city has not yet responded. The family expected to hold a press conference at 1 Police Place today at 1 p.m. ET.