Five Years Later, NYPD Delays Trial on Teen’s Shooting

MANHATTAN (CN) — For the late Ramarley Graham’s mother, New York City’s 1 Police Plaza has been a common site to protest the lack of accountability for her son’s fatal shooting five years ago.

Last year Constance Malcolm stood at in front of NYPD headquarters to tearfully tell reporters that federal prosecutors would not open a case against Officer Richard Haste, who killed her son in their Bronx apartment on Feb. 2, 2012.

“The justice system doesn’t seem like our kids matter,” she said on March 8, 2016.

Then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had closed the book on the investigation, finding that his office could not prove that Haste did not know that 18-year-old Graham was unarmed. Malcolm returned to the same spot Monday to say that another Mother’s Day has come and gone without justice.

Graham’s family was awarded a $3.9 million settlement, but Malcolm lamented that the NYPD’s internal investigation of the officers involved has stalled.

“As we stand here today, May 15, we still don’t know when the trial will start,” Malcolm said. “This leads me to believe that they are trying to push for these officers to resign, like they did with Officer Haste.”

Haste quit the force on March 27 at age 35 after being found guilty in a departmental review, The New York Times reported.

No trial dates have been set for departmental charges against Sgt. Scott Morris and Officer John McLoughlin.

The NYPD said it has been in regular contact with the Graham family’s attorney Royce Russell regarding the case status, but Malcolm believes the department may be pushing to dispose of the cases through a “backroom deal.”

“Somebody was murdered,” Malcolm said. “Somebody was killed, and nobody was held accountable. It’s not normal for these police officers. It’s not normal for the NYPD to carry on like this.”

Graham’s case received new national attention in the wake of the Black Lives Matter in 2014, propelled by public outrage to failure to prosecute the police killings of unarmed black and Latino men.

Malcolm emphasized that she is not the only mother in her position.

“How can a mother like me and other mothers out there continue to see this happen, and keep seeing other mothers that are going through the same situation that I’m in?” she asked. “I can’t keep standing next to the other mothers and tell them it’s going to be OK, when we can’t get a simple answer.”

Before he resigned this year, but after he killed Graham, Haste was awarded a sharp salary increase.

In 2016, Haste earned more than $94,000 in total pay, an increase from just over $63,000 in the year of Graham’s death.

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