Ramarley Graham’s Parents Drop Off Petition, Rally For Federal Investigation

By Raven Rakia Aug 21, 2014

Constance Malcolm and Frank Graham, parents of Ramarley Graham, led a rally to the office of US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, on Wednesday to demand a federal investigation into the killing of their son.

In 2012, NYPD officer Richard Haste killed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham in his bathroom after breaking down the door to his apartment. The case went to a grand jury and Haste was indicted on manslaughter charges only to have the charges thrown out by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett on a technicality. When another grand jury convened, they failed to indict Haste. In 2013, the Justice Department said the case was under review but Ramarley Graham’s parents have not gotten any updates since then.

During the rally on Wednesday, Frank Graham spoke to the crowd, saying, "my son has been dead almost two-and-a-half years … and I’m still waiting for our day in court."

The petition delivered to Bharara states

Dear Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara,

On April 12, 2014, Ramarley Graham would have been celebrating his 21st birthday, but two years earlier he was gunned down in his own home by plainclothes NYPD Officer Richard Haste.

As is so often the case involving Black victims of deadly police violence, Ramarley’s killer has not been brought to justice by the Bronx County District Attorney’s office. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has a duty to protect our community against racial profiling and the violence that it creates, especially when local or state prosecutors fail to do so.

This case has been under review by the DOJ and the United States Attorney’s Office since last summer. It’s time for federal officials to take action. By holding Officer Haste accountable for his deadly actions, you can send a strong message to law enforcement across the country that your office will protect our community against racial profiling and senseless police violence.

We demand that you conduct a full and thorough investigation and bring federal charges against Officer Haste.

(h/t Huffington Post)