How can a resignation, five years too late, feel like justice? HOW?
“After more than five years since my son Ramarley was killed, this can’t be considered due process as [NYC] Mayor de Blasio likes to say — it delays accountability and that sends a dangerous message to all NYPD officers and New Yorkers,” Constance Malcolm said.
In the time since Richard Haste murdered 18 year old Ramarley Graham, it’s been reported that Haste was on “desk duty,” accumulating a salary $30,000 higher than it was before the shooting. While Haste initially faced a criminal manslaughter charge and was indicted in the death, the criminal case was dismissed because of a procedural error (prosecutors gave improper instructions to jurors). Last year, federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice refused to take up an investigation, and declined to bring charges against the officer. A second grand jury failed to bring an indictment. Finally, the ruling in a low-impact disciplinary trial against Richard Haste shows that he was found guilty of botching department tactics. The former officer officially quit the force on Sunday to avoid being fired, likely protecting his pension.
The privileges and protections afforded police employment often support, enable and guarantee outrages like this will keep happening. NYPD officers, who further antagonized the situation, told Haste that Graham had a gun and then unlawfully busted into his home and killed him – in front of his grandmother and 6 year old brother. No weapon was recovered where Graham was shot and killed nor in the area.
“Families whose loved ones are killed by the NYPD shouldn’t have to file extensive FOIL [Freedom of Information Law] requests, as we did, to beg for basic information from the city and then have our requests denied, yet this is the reality under Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner O’Neill — it’s shameful and there’s no excuse for it,” Malcolm said at a press conference in front of City Hall.
Families whose loved ones are killed by the [police] shouldn’t have to file extensive Freedom of Information Law requests to beg for basic information from the city
The long-standing, brutal killings of African-Americans in this country have a tendency to feel like a direct order, or at the very least, a conspiracy among comrades. It is increasingly hard to tell whether these directives come via state and federal laws or by under-the-table contracts that are negotiated between racially motivated groups disguised in uniforms and covered up by political offices. In 2015, the Graham family settled a wrongful death federal lawsuit for $3.9 million and rightfully continues to seek justice saying, “my family still doesn’t have a decision on when NYPD trials into Sgt. Scott Morris, Officer John Mcloughlin and other officers responsible for the killing of Ramarley and abusing our family will ever happen. It’s time for de Blasio and O’Neill to release the information, and begin the trials into all the other officers involved.”
Graham’s mother released a statement responding to Haste’s resignation, calling it “just another example that the de Blasio administration doesn’t care about justice and accountability” and accusing the NYPD of having “dragged their heels” every step of the way. “Richard Haste should have been in prison,” the mother said in her statement, “but instead of even firing him, they let him resign.”