The family of Ramarley Graham agreed to a $3.9 million settlement offered by New York City. On Feb. 2, 2012, the unarmed black teen, Graham, was killed by white NYPD officer Richard Haste.
Nick Paolucci, city law department spokesman, said settling the case was a good decision.
“This was a tragic case. After evaluating all the facts, and consulting with key stakeholders such as the NYPD, it was determined that settling the matter was in the best interest of the City.”
A year ago, Graham’s family filed a lawsuit seeking damages for emotional distress and mistreatment by police.
The teen’s estate will receive $2.95 million. Because they were at home during the shooting, his brother will receive $500,000, and his grandmother will receive $450,000. Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, will receive $40,000.
Prior to the shooting, Haste said he received a radio transmission that Graham was armed.
Police officers spotted Graham on the street and, because he was adjusting his waistband, thought he had a gun. When officers approached, they claim the teen ran home — but surveillance video shows he walked.
Graham’s 58-year-old grandmother and little brother, age 6, witnessed the shooting and said Haste threatened to shoot the grandmother before pushing her into a vase.
Haste, who chased Graham, 18, into his home after breaking down a back door and entering without a search warrant, was initially indicted by a Bronx grand jury on a manslaughter charge, but a judge threw out the case on a technicality. A second grand jury did not convict Haste, who said he fired because he thought Graham had a gun, although no weapons were found.
Officers also originally reported there was a struggle between Haste and Ramarley Graham, but investigators determined there was none.
Haste and the other officers involved remain the subjects of a civil rights investigation conducted by Manhattan federal prosecutors.
Graham’s death evoked protests in the Bronx and other parts of NYC.
Protesters in more recent demonstrations in New York have cited the Graham shooting after grand juries in Missouri, when a grand jury failed to indict a police officer in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, and the case of 45-year-old Eric Garner, after he was put in a chokehold and died on a Staten Island sidewalk.
Ramarley Graham’s death and subsequent deaths of unarmed black men sparked a national conversation on policing and racial profiling.
[Image: New York Post]