After the emotional trial of slain teenager Trayvon Martin‘s killer George Zimmerman last year, justice is being demanded for the unlawful killing of another teen by a New York police officer.
A “Justice for #RamarleyGraham” campaign has launched in hopes of indicting the man responsible for taking an 18-year-old’s life.
The Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s office have the power to take over the case and hold Ramarley’s killer accountable. Join us in demanding the DOJ and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara conduct a thorough investigation and bring federal charges against Officer Haste. (Color of Change)
A letter to be sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has already been composed and awaits signatures.
“On April 12, 2014, Ramarley Graham would have been celebrating his 21st birthday, but two years earlier he was gunned down in his own home by plainclothes NYPD Officer Richard Haste. As is so often the case involving Black victims of deadly police violence, Ramarley’s killer has not been brought to justice by the Bronx County District Attorney’s office. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has a duty to protect our community against racial profiling and the violence that it creates, especially when local or state prosecutors fail to do so.” (Color of Change)
The letter also requests a full investigation into the slaying and for federal charges to be made against the officer.
This case has been under review by the DOJ and the United States Attorney’s Office since last summer. It’s time for federal officials to take action. By holding Officer Haste accountable for his deadly actions, you can send a strong message to law enforcement across the country that your office will protect our community against racial profiling and sensless police violence. We demand that you conduct a full and thorough investigation and bring federal charges against Officer Haste.” (Color of Change)
According to reports, Graham had been followed by a Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit in February 2012, chased through his home and fatally shot all without a search warrant.
Officers at the bodega radioed their suspicion that Ramarley was armed. Rather than moving with caution and calling for backup, NYPD officers broke through a series of doors, following Ramarley upstairs and into his bathroom. According to Officer Richard Haste, he yelled “Show me your hands!” before Ramarley reached for his belt. Shouting “Gun! Gun!” Haste then shot Ramarley in the chest, killing him. No weapon was found, only a small bag of marijuana which investigators hypothesized Ramarley had been attempting to flush down the toilet. (The Nation)