The Manhattan US Attorney’s office announced Tuesday that they will not convene a grand jury against the New York Police Department Officer who killed Ramarley Graham.
“After conducting a thorough and independent investigation, the US Attorney’s Office has determined that there is insufficient evidence to meet the high burden of proof required for a federal criminal civil rights prosecution,” Attorney Preet Bharara’s office said in a statement. “Accordingly, this Office’s investigation into Mr. Graham’s death has been closed.”
Graham’s father, Frank Graham, said the decision is “frustrating” and “heartbreaking” but “We’ll just move onto the next fight – which is firing the officers immediately.”
“Black lives don’t matter,” Graham’s father, Franclot Graham, said about Bharara’s decision.
On February 2, 2012, officers from a special narcotics unit, including Officer Richard Haste, chased the unarmed 18-year old Graham from White Plains Road and East 228th Street to his home at 749 E. 229th Street in Wakefield because they believed he had a weapon in his waistband.
Officer Richard Haste pursued Graham into his home and fatally shot the teenager in the bathroom. No weapon was ever recovered.
Initially, a Bronx grand jury indicted Haste on manslaughter charges, but the case was thrown out due to improper jury instructions from the Bronx District Attorney’s office. Later, a second grand jury decided not to indict Haste on any additional charges.
“According to Officer Haste, when he looked in the bathroom, he saw Mr. Graham facing him, with his hand in his waistband. Also according to Officer Haste, Mr. Graham then made a motion as if he were pulling something out of his pants. Officer Haste stated that he believed that Mr. Graham was reaching for the weapon that had been described in the earlier radio transmission, and that he fired one round from his weapon in response to a perceived deadly threat.
“The bullet struck Mr. Graham, causing his death. No gun was found at the scene. A bag of marijuana was found in the toilet bowl next to where Mr. Graham was standing.”
The US Attorney’s office said, “the investigation revealed no evidence to refute Officer Haste’s claim that he shot Mr. Graham in response to his mistaken belief that Mr. Graham was reaching for a gun.”
“Accordingly, the Department of Justice could not conclude or prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a federal criminal civil rights violation,” the statement said.
The US Department of Justice first began reviewing Graham’s death in August 2013.
Since that time, Graham’s mother has reached out to Michael Brown’s mother, New York City has agreed to a nearly $4 million dollar settlement with Graham’s family, and, perhaps most insultingly, the cop who killed him has received nearly $25,000 dollars in annual raises since his fatality.