Richard Haste, 30, the NYPD officer who shot and killed unarmed Bronx teen Ramarley Graham in February of this year, has been indicted on manslaughter charges, reports NBC-New York.
As previously reported by NewsOne, surveillance video shows Graham casually walking into his home before officers can be seen running behind him. They beat on the door, before eventually kicking it in, pursuing him to the bathroom where Haste killed him with one shot to the chest.
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“He had some weed on with him,” a family friend told the Daily News. “It wasn’t a big deal. They shot him inside the house. … He didn’t have a gun.” The fact that Graham was unarmed was later confirmed by police.
Police reports state that a small amount of marijuana was found in the bathroom and speculate that perhaps the teen had been trying to flush it down the toilet to avoid further arrest. He had a prior criminal record stemming from gun and burglary charges.
Graham was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
At the time of the incident, Commissioner Ray Kelly said that contrary to previous reports, no struggle occurred between Graham Officer Haste, reports Gothamist.com.
Patrick J. Lynch, President of The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, says that the officers acted appropriately. “We look forward to a complete review of the facts in this case which will demonstrate that this police officer believed that he was pursuing an armed felon who bolted rather than be caught with an illegal gun,” he told ABC news. “Several members of the officer’s team had confirmed the presence of a gun and that constituted a grave danger to the officers and the community. We believe that this officer will be exonerated at trial.”
Graham’s case has been largely overshadowed by that of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was gunned down weeks later by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. Martin was also unarmed.
If Haste is convicted of manslaughter in this case, he could face up to 25 years in prison.
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