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NYPD Police Officer Indicted in Ramarley Graham Killing

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #738)
Politics & Advocacy

Ramarley Graham
A New York City police officer has been indicted on manslaughter charges in the Bronx shooting death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham. Graham, a young black man, was shot and killed in the bathroom of his own home after a team of NYPD narcotics officers followed him home, broke in, and confronted him.

When he was killed in February, Graham was the eighth person to die in drug law enforcement activities so far this year. That number is now up to 28. The indictment of NYPD Officer Richard Haste is the first of any officer in any of those deaths.

Although the indictment has not been officially unsealed, the New York Times reported that a grand jury has indicted Haste, 30, on charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter. More charges could be pending.

Graham was shot and killed after he and a pair of friends caught the attention of narcotics officers who had staked out a bodega on White Plains Road. They radioed their colleagues and said they believed he had a gun in his waistband as he walked toward his home. Officer Haste dashed to the scene, broke into Graham's apartment, and shot and killed him in his bathroom.

No weapon was found, but police did say they found marijuana in a plastic baggie in the toilet bowl, suggesting Graham may have been trying to get rid of the evidence to avoid becoming another New York City pot bust statistic.

The shooting has provoked anger in the community and led to numerous calls for justice for Graham and other victims of overzealous policing in the city. It has also focused attention on the aggressive tactics of the NYPD's Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit, teams of officers who surreptitiously surveil the streets looking for drug deals before bursting in to bust dealers and customers.

The Graham shooting has focused attention on the aggressive tactics of the Police Department’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Units -- teams of six or seven officers who hide on rooftops or in parked cars as they scan the streetscape for drug transactions before swooping in to arrest dealers and customers. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered a review of the units' tactics, but the results of that review have not been released.

The last time NYPD officers were indicted for killing a resident was when three of them riddled Sean Bell's body with bullets as he attended his pre-wedding party in 2007. Those officers were eventually found not guilty.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


DanRicheson (not verified)

Mission Statement: To bring an end to cannabis prohibition in 2013 by gathering signatory members through promotion and declaring our rights through the document, "Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users". Giving prohibitionists reasonable opportunity to affect appropriate, timely and agreed upon change and, if necessary enforcing our rights in a peaceful way. After April 20 2013 adopting a zero tolerance for acts of brutality and injustice by prohibitionists.

The laws regarding cannabis were born on the wings of lies and pampered by propaganda such that now the tightly held belief systems are going to have to reckon with the desire of all humanity to live with dignity, free from the oppressive tyranny that ignorance and bigotry have spawned.

Wed, 06/13/2012 - 1:41pm Permalink
Dave N (not verified)

In reply to by DanRicheson (not verified)

zero tolerance for acts of brutality and injustice by prohibitionists, really?

what r u gonna do about it? protest? how many have there been? and the tyranny continues.

peaceful ways have not and will not work. we are gonna have to shed the prohibitionist's blood before we get real change. we don't have freedom because you will not fight for it.

Thu, 06/14/2012 - 8:17pm Permalink
Rwolf (not verified)

Reports of Police beating, shooting and killing unarmed Citizens are becoming a frequent event.

Could America be headed the direction Northern Ireland evolved during the 1980’s? Increasingly British Police and military beat and shot unarmed and surrendered Irish Catholics on the street, in their homes, destroyed their property and imprisoned them without evidence. UK Police (RUC) and British Army used joint paramilitary raids as cover to frame and assassinate Irish Catholics that politically opposed British policies. Consequently that caused extreme Citizen counter-resistance against the N. Ireland UK Government, the Police and British Army through 1996.

U.S. police are increasingly raiding Americans’ homes (without a warrant). Imagine if warrants were not required, any federal agency or local police could selectively target citizens without probable cause for paramilitary raids, even repeatedly. Americans would not feel safe in their homes. This appears the direction America is headed.

Thu, 06/14/2012 - 3:09pm Permalink
joebanana (not verified)

The law is SUPPOSED to apply equally to all. This is murder plain and simple, and deserves the death penalty. And cops should be banned from carrying guns. They don't deter crime, they react to it violently, and the courts are an organized crime syndicate where you CAN'T get a fair trial.

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 12:52am Permalink

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