An NYPD officer has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of an 18-year-old from the Bronx, and surrendered to authorities this morning.
Officer Richard Haste, 30, chased the unarmed Ramarley Graham home during a standard sweep of his “drug-infested” neighborhood on February 2nd. The NYPD officer and another cop followed Graham into his family home, breaking down a back door and confronting the teen at the top of the stairs.
Haste demanded Graham show his hands and when he reached for his waistband, according to Haste, the NYPD officer fired. No guns were found in the residence after the shooting, but a quantity of marijuana was found in the toilet.
Graham was shot by the NYPD officer at point-blank range once in the chest, and was pronounced dead at a hospital. Haste and the officer who accompanied him into the home were later stripped of their badges and guns pending an investigation.
After Haste surrendered this morning, a lawyer for the NYPD officer told a local news source that his client understands the need for investigation and is preparing for trial:
“It’s always difficult but he has been very strong. He understands the seriousness of these charges and he also feels for the family and understands the tragic nature that there has been a loss of life.” Haste continued, “So at this point he is surviving the day and we’ll move forward to get ready for trial.”
Graham’s family was heartbroken outside the courtroom after the NYPD officer posted $50,000 bail and was freed. His father Frank Malcolm commented, breaking down after realizing he would be without his son on Father’s Day:
“Haste is going home to his family. When we leave here we’re going to the cemetery. I keep asking why. Why did he kill our son? Why, why, did he kill our son? 18 years old. 18. He did nothing to deserve this.”
The NYPD officer’s hearing today had both a heavy presence of fellow policemen showing support as well as protesters.