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The NYPD Officer who chased, shot and killed unarmed teen Ramarley Graham in his own home, will be indicted for manslaughter. Graham was spotted by a narcotics undercover unit outside a Bronx bodega and chased into his own home, where he was shot and killed.

Richard Haste, 30 years old and a 4 year veteran of the force was indicted by a Bronx grand jury.

The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Bronx teenager inside the bathroom of his apartment has been indicted for manslaughter, according to people with knowledge of the investigation.

Officer Richard Haste, 30 years old, was indicted by a Bronx grand jury Monday in connection with the Feb. 2 shooting death of Ramarley Graham, one of the people said.  Graham had been trying to flush a small bag of marijuana down the toilet at the time of the shooting.

The indictment will be unsealed Wednesday, and Haste is expected to turn himself into authorities that morning, one of the people said. Melvin Hernandez, a spokesman for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, declined to comment.

Patrick Lynch, head of the Policeman's Benevolent Association believes Haste will be exonerated because he was sure Graham was carrying a gun. He was so sure he had to chase Graham, break down the door to his apartment building and chase him up the stairs to the bathroom on the second floor, where he shot him.
Haste “believed that he was pursuing an armed felon who bolted rather than be caught with an illegal gun,” Lynch said in a statement. ”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”
Guns out, the officers ran to the second floor and broke down the door. They spotted Graham down a long hallway near the back of the apartment and saw the teenager duck into the bathroom.

What exactly occurred next hasn’t been made public. Haste was so convinced Graham was armed that he yelled “gun, gun” before firing, according to Kelly’s account, while Graham moved to flush a bag containing a small amount of marijuana down the toilet.

Haste fired once, striking Graham in the chest. The teen was pronounced dead at Montefiore Medical Center

Just yesterday in what was perhaps a preemptive strike Mayor Bloomberg spoketo the congregation of the First Baptist Church of Brownsville, a black church, defending his police department's stop and frisk activities (there were over 600,000 such stops last year resulting in a 6% arrest rate) and saying that it perhaps needed some 'mending' but not 'ending'.
This morning Mayor Bloomberg spoke to the congregation at The First Baptist Church of Brownsville and seemed to acknowledge the anger of communities who are most affected by the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactic. "I understand why some people have called for stops to be eliminated entirely," Bloomberg said. “But there is no denying that stops take guns off the street and save lives…I believe the practice needs to be mended, not ended, to ensure that stops are conducted appropriately, with as much courtesy as possible." This seems counter to the opinion of Justice Shira Scheindlin, who in a ruling last month charged that many of the central tenets of stop-and-frisk led to violations of New Yorkers' constitutional rights.
Oh, and Officer Haste said he felt bad about the incident:
Haste, an officer of four years who had been stripped of his gun and badge, was said to have felt "bad" about the incident. "He didn't want the kid to die," a colleague of Haste's said. "He thought he was carrying, that's why he did what he did. He had a split second to react."
And why did this turn into a 'split second', life or death reaction? If Officer Haste had never chased Graham up the steps into his bathroom, he would have had many seconds, minutes even, to think clearly and react.

I'm betting his family 'felt pretty bad' about 'the incident' too.


Originally posted to Barefoothoofcare on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:43 PM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group, New York City, and DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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