Bronx, NY– On Friday, the family of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham agreed to accept a settlement of $3.9 million from the city in their wrongful death lawsuit.
Not one penny of the settlement will be paid by the killer cop, Officer Richard Haste.
In February 2012, plainclothed Officer Haste chased Ramarley Graham to his home in the Bronx. Police claim to have believed the teenager had a gun. They burst through the door to his grandmother’s home without a warrant and only seconds later, Officer Richard Haste fatally shot the teenager in the bathroom in front of his grandmother and younger brother. Ramarley was unarmed and reportedly only had a small bag of marijuana.
After killing the boy, the officer also reportedly threatened to kill his 58-year-old grandmother.
“Why did you shoot him? Why you killed him?” Patricia Hartley, Graham’s grandmother allegedly asked Officer Haste.
“Get the f— away before I have to shoot you, too,” the suit alleged Haste threatened her after pushing her backwards into a vase.
A portion of the chase and the officers breaking into the home was captured on surveillance camera.
Ramarley was a good kid by all accounts, with dreams of becoming a veterinarian. At age 12, he began volunteering at a local pet store so that he could be around all the animals. He was also very close to his family and often teased his siblings that he was his grandmother’s favorite.
“Ramarley had a special place in his heart for younger children and the elderly. He often assisted the elderly across the street and was known in the community for doing their grocery shopping. He spent time listening to stories from his grandmother, Patsy about her life in Jamaica before she moved their family to New York. His conversations with her mostly centered on events in the media and their personal lives. He often imitated the way she spoke quickly, and often teased his siblings that he was Patsy’s favorite.” his bio on RamarleysCall.net reads.
Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson had convened a Grand Jury that voted to indict Officer Haste, but a judge threw out the manslaughter indictment citing a prosecutorial error. A second grand jury declined to indict.
Graham’s estate will receive $2.95 million from the settlement; his brother will receive $500,000 and his grandmother $450,000 because they were in the home at the time of the shooting, sources said. Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, will also receive $40,000, the NY Daily News Reports.
There is an ongoing federal investigation by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Bharara into possible civil rights violations against the officers involved.
The family of Graham have been calling for support on a petition for federal charges to be filed.
“The failure of prosecutors like Johnson to secure a conviction against police officers for brutalizing or using deadly force against Black victims is an all too familiar story. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has the power to take over the investigation and bring Ramarley’s killer to justice. But it’s been more than two years since Ramarley’s tragic death; the DOJ will only make this case a high priority if there’s a groundswell of national outrage.
Join us in demanding the Department of Justice make this case a high priority by conducting a thorough investigation into Ramarley Graham’s death and bringing federal charges against NYPD Officer Richard Haste.”
Sign the petition for justice here.