#FireHaste Trial Summary - Jan, 18 2017

NYPD Trial of Officer Richard Haste (the 1st officer NYPD has put on disciplinary trial for killing of Ramarley Graham, almost 5 years after Ramarley was killed)

January 18, 2017 – Day 2 of NYPD Trial of Haste


Wednesday January 18th was the second day of the NYPD administrative trial of Officer Richard Haste, who shot and killed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham on February 2, 2012. Supporters continued to pack the court today. Also in court today to show support to Ramarley’s family was Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner.  Eric was also unjustly killed by the NYPD in 2014 by Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who used a prohibited NYPD chokehold.

Throughout the course of the day, the NYPD’s Department Advocates Office (DAO), who is prosecuting Officer Haste, showed that on February 2, 2012, Officer Haste and other officers broke multiple NYPD protocols that led to the killing of Ramarley Graham, which should result in Officer Haste being fired.

The Daily News sums it up here:

Haste broke just about every rule set down by the NYPD in handling a suspect believed to be armed inside a dwelling in the 2012 shooting, said Sheehan, commander of the Specialized Training Section. http://nydn.us/2jybQmY

The DAO began with finishing their questioning of Officer Chris Crocitto. Officer Crocitto confirmed that officers approached Ramarley’s building with guns drawn (which was evident from the video shown on day one of the trial). Officer Crocitto also testified that Sergeant Morris gave no instructions to break down the door of Ramarley’s apartment.

The rest of the day was devoted to the testimony of Inspector Gregory Sheehan, the Commanding Officer for the Special Training Section of the NYPD. The DAO called Inspector Sheehan as an expert witness on tactical policies and procedures. Inspector Sheehan confirmed that Officer Haste violated multiple protocols according to the NYPD Patrol Guide. His testimony included reading central tenets of the patrol guide including that officers who “create the need to shoot through poor use of tactics and procedures” are responsible for creating such escalated situations involving use of force.

In referring to Officer Haste’s conduct on February 2nd, 2012, Inspector Sheehan, testified that he had never seen “tactical violations as egregious as this.”

The court was adjourned at 2pm today and will resume at 10am tomorrow, Thursday, January 19, 2017.

Post-court press conference

Following today’s NYPD court proceedings, the mothers of Ramarley Graham and Eric Garner held a press conference to raise serious concerns related to lies and serious omissions by the NYPD in court testimony, related to the killing of Ramarley Graham and surrounding misconduct.

Loyda Colon, co-director of the Justice Committee, opened the press conference calling out some of the factual inaccuracies in the trial to-date, much of it enabled because no civilian witnesses were interviewed and it seems that no civilian testimony will be used.

Ramarley Graham’s mother spoke about her pain in hearing lies repeated by various NYPD witnesses related to Ramarley during the first two days of trial: “As a mom fighting for 5 years, it disgusts me the lies NYPD is telling. My son didn’t commit a crime, he did do nothing wrong.”

She also spoke about civilians who were abused by the NYPD in the events surrounding the killing of her son Ramarley, including (but not only) Ramarley’s grandmother. Officer Richard Haste cursed, assaulted and threatened Ramarley’s grandmother after he shot Ramarley, to prevent her from going to aid her grandson. NYPD charges against Richard Haste do not include any of this misconduct.

Eric Garner’s mother - who came to attend the trial in solidarity with Ramarley Graham’s mother - spoke on the need to fire Richard Haste and all of the additional officers who engaged in misconduct surrounding the unwarranted entry into Ramarley’s home, the killing of Ramarley, the abuse of family members and others, as well as release of false statements about the case and obscuring details of the case. She also called for the firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who killed Eric Garner, and all of the other officers who also engaged in misconduct when her son was killed.  

Commentary on Day 2:

Officer Richard Haste should be fired for killing Ramarley Graham. Witness testimony during the first two days makes clear that there were no emergency circumstances that justified breaking down the door of Ramarley’s apartment.  There were multiple violations of protocol noted in the trial, prompting Inspector Sheehan to confirm that he had never seen such “egregious violations”.

What the first two days of the trial omits though, is concerning related to the systemic failure of NYPD accountability and discipline.  Haste is being under-charged. Ramarley was gunned down in what should have been the safety of his home, in front of his 6 year-old brother and grandmother.  According to his grandmother, after Richard Haste shot Ramarley, she tried to go to Ramarley to help him. Haste shoved her to the ground, put a gun to her and said:  “Get the f--- away before I have to shoot you, too,” (Daily News, January 30, 2015, http://nydn.us/1DfJhdL)

Ramarley’s family believes that there is a web of perjury that is preventing other officers from also being disciplined.  There is serious concern regarding the fact that civilian witnesses were not interviewed for this trial and no civilian testimony is expected to be entered into the trial record, in spite of abuses against at least 5 civilians who were in the house when Ramarley was killed.  Some of what is being asserted as facts of the case would be contradicted directly if non-police who witnessed or experienced the events of February 2, 2012 were consulted.

Big picture, Ramarley’s family is concerned that there was never a thorough investigation of the killing of Ramarley and the surrounding misconduct. As a result, even if Richard Haste is fired, there will be other officers who shouldn’t be on the streets who may continue to violate the rights of other New Yorkers. 

See & share this excellent statement from the Justice Committee, released today on NYPD omissions and lies during the first two days of the NYPD trial of Officer Richard Haste: http://www.justicecommittee.org/statementhastetriallies

Please support Ramarley’s family during the NYPD trial of Richard Haste:

  • For more info on packing the court for Ramarley: bit.ly/RamarleyPackTheCourt
  • To view/share a short video explaining why officers must be fired for Ramarley Graham: bit.ly/RamarleyVid
  • For other info on the #FireNYPD campaign: riseup4ramarley.org