The FIGHT FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IS NOT OVER.
In the coming period, Deputy Commissioner Maldonado will submit her report and recommendations regarding Richard Haste to Commissioner O’Neill. O’Neill will be making the final decision whether or not to fire Haste, and we need your support to help ensure he holds Haste and all the officers involved accountable. We will keep standing with Ramarley’s family's demands for NYPD to fire Haste, as well as Sgt. Scott Morris, Officer McLaughlin and all the officers responsible for related misconduct in the killing of Ramarley Graham.**
Will you stand with Ramarley Graham’s family?
Sign and share this petition from The Nation Magazine and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) calling for the firing of Officer Richard Haste and ALL officers involved in the killing of Ramarley Graham and related misconduct: http://bit.ly/RamarleyGrahamPetition
View/share this short video by Justice Committee, explaining why officers must be fired for Ramarley Graham: bit.ly/RamarleyVid
Follow Constance Malcolm & let her know that you will keep standing with her & her family: www.twitter.com/RiseUp4Ramarley
Hold February 2, 2017, which marks 5 years since NYPD killed Ramarley Graham. Visit riseup4ramarley.org for ways to support Ramarley’s family’s demands on February 2nd.
Final Day of NYPD Trial of Haste
Today was closing arguments for the trial of Officer Richard Haste who shot and killed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham on February 2, 2012. Supporters continued to pack the court to support Ramarley’s family who were in attendance, including Ramarley’s mother, little brother who was 6 years old and present when Ramarley was killed, both grandmothers (one of whom was present when Ramarley was killed, and was threatened and assaulted at gunpoint by Richard Haste directly after Haste shot Ramarley), Ramarley’s aunt, and the landlord of Ramarley’s house (who NYPD officers also abused at gunpoint in her home after Ramarley was shot).
Supporters who helped to pack the NYPD courtroom today included:
Families who have lost loved ones in NYPD killings including: the mother of Mohamed Bah and the nephew of John Collado.
Elected officials, including Councilmembers Andy King and Jumaane Williams.
Organizations from across New York City and concerned New Yorkers
Haste’s attorney, Stuart London, delivered closing arguments first.
He claimed that Officer Haste is “incredible”, is “being singled out” and is a “scapegoat”. London argued:
Ramarley Graham never listened to Haste saying “Stop, police, show me your hands,” and that Ramarley Graham yelled curse words at him. [On January 20th, when Ramarley’s grandmother heard this false testimony, she exclaimed from the crowd and said “I object! That’s not true. I was there and didn’t hear that.”]
That Haste’s behavior was reasonable because he believed Ramarley had a gun. Haste’s attorneys highlighted that Officer Jarvis and Officer Horne (the two-person Observation Point team that profiled Ramarley) were obviously trusted by the NYPD as they had been not been dismissed or charged but rather promoted to detective after Ramarley was killed. “Why? Because they are good officers who gave good information.” [Haste’s attorneys continue to act as if Ramarley being armed was “good information” when in fact Ramarley was unarmed and no weapon was recovered from Ramarley or his home.]
That Officer Haste got valid entry into the 1st floor and it was a “hot pursuit.” They said Haste was “chasing an individual” who was “walking with a purpose” and had his “hands down his pants.” [Video was shown at the first day of trial showing Ramarley walking calmly into his home, unaware that officers were following him. The reported “consent” was not consent at all – Haste gained entry to the 1st floor apartment when he pointed a gun at an 8 year old who was in the 1st floor apartment.]
That “police work should not be judged by the end result but by the reasonableness.” Haste’s attorney asked, “Does anyone really remember the details of a course from training they received years before?”
That Ramarley Graham had “the advantage” in the apartment.
The NYPD DAO Attorney Nancy Slater stated in her closing arguments:
Ramarley Graham “entered his home…and approximately four minutes later was shot dead in front of his grandmother and brother.”
Officer Haste “disregarded his training, disregarded the policies and tactics - tactics meant to preserve life.”
Officer Haste did not follow protocols to:
“Isolate, contain, seek cover.”
Call the Emergency Services Unit.
Maintain visual contact.
Establish police lines.
Follow other protocols including seeking cover and concealment.
Officer Haste did not have authority nor training to breach the door. There was no emergency situation (screams, gunshots, etc.) warranting Officer Haste to breach the door.
The argument that Haste had “milliseconds to make a decision” speaks precisely to Haste not making proper tactical decisions – and providing Ramarley and his family with no time to react to the fact that their apartment had just been busted into. If the ESU were called, DAO argued would try to “engage with the suspect and slow things down, they have all of these tools at their disposal.”
“Haste was doing what he wanted. … He raced up the stairs, he is in front of the charge … Haste made all of the decisions”
Officer Haste has been “rearranging the facts. He originally stated he never saw Ramarley at the top of the stairs…in the official Department interview, the respondent claims to have seen Ramarley at the top of the stairs, the pesky facts keep getting in the way…”
“This has been a character assassination of Ramarley Graham.”
With incredulity, NYPD DAO Attorney Slater said she “shuddered” at Haste being called a hero and at the fact that Haste doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
Other notes on the trial room during closing arguments
Members of Ramarley’s family sitting in the front row each wore Tshirts through closing arguments to highlight reasons Richard Haste should be fired. This included Ramarley’s brother (who was 6 years old when Ramarley was gunned down in front of him) who wore a shirt stating that he was only 4.5 feet away when Ramarley was killed.
When closing arguments were over, supporters chanted “Fire Richard Haste” in the trial room and held up signs calling for Haste’s firing, the firing of St Morris and Officer McLaughlin and others responsible for misconduct surrounding Ramarley Graham’s killing.