New York Post
June 14, 2012

NYPD Officer surrenders, faces charges in killing of unarmed Bronx teen Ramarley Graham


An NYPD officer yesterday surrendered to authorities to face manslaughter charges in the killing of an unarmed teen in the Bronx — and was met with jeers from the victim’s family and supporters and cheers from a throng of fellow cops outside court.

“This has to stop. They can’t keep killing our kids,” said Constance Malcolm, whose son Ramarley Graham (right), 18, was killed Feb. 2 by Officer Richard Haste in the bathroom of the family’s Wakefield home.

“Help me get justice for my son!” Malcolm said outside Bronx Supreme Court after the baby-faced Haste, 31, walked free on $50,000 bond following his arraignment on first- and second-degree manslaughter charges that threaten to send him to prison for up to 25 years.

The victim’s sobbing dad, Franclot Graham, told reporters yesterday, “I keep asking, ‘Why, why, why did he kill my son?’ ”

“Eighteen years old,” Graham said through tears. “He did nothing to deserve this.”

But Haste’s lawyer, Stuart London, previewed his defense, telling the court that Haste was acting on bad information from other cops, who claimed Graham was armed.

“He was taking police action. This case is not about second-guessing difficult, if not impossible, police decisions,” London said. “He thought he was going to be killed.”

Haste was part of a narcotics unit that pursued the teen into his home when Graham fled — a foot chase captured on surveillance video.

Haste shot the teen in the bathroom in front of his little brother and grandmother as the teen was apparently trying to flush a small amount of marijuana down the toilet.

London claimed Graham didn’t follow Haste’s orders.

“Rather than showing his hands, the defendant made a quick gesture to his waist,” London said.

Haste, who testified in his own defense before the Bronx grand jury that indicted him, arrived in court yesterday on crutches, having suffered a bad leg injury in a recent motorcycle accident.

Inside court, he was supported by about a dozen cops and PBA President Patrick Lynch — while on the other side of the room, Franclot Graham wept as he sat with the victim’s mom, and about 40 other supporters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton.

“Officer Haste consciously and deliberately pulled the trigger, shooting Ramarley Graham, causing his death,” prosecutor Donald Levin told Judge Martin Marcus. “Officer Haste’s actions were neither reasonable, nor justified at that moment.”

After Haste posted bail, he was escorted by a dozen or so police officers to a waiting van, as supporters of Graham’s family chanted, “NYPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?”

But up to 50 police officers in plainclothes applauded and cheered for Haste as he got into the van.

Said Lynch, “We are confident justice will be served after all the facts are heard inside the courtroom without the emotion of the street. When the facts are heard, we believe the police officer will be vindicated.”

Additional reporting by Larry Celona