‘Insufficient Evidence’ in Ramarley Graham Case

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office will not prosecute the NYPD officer who killed an unarmed Black teen, New York Daily News reports.

18-year-old Ramarley Graham was fatally wounded by Officer Richard Haste in the bathroom of his Bronx apartment on Feb. 2, 2012.

The slain teen’s family called the decision “heartbreaking.”

“After conducting a thorough and independent investigation, the U.S. 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” of Officer Richard Haste, Attorney Preet Bharara’s office said in a statement. “Accordingly, this Office’s investigation into Mr. Graham’s death has been closed.”

After a “thorough” review of the events that led to Graham’s death, Bharara’s office determined that officers mistakenly thought the teen had a gun on him when he and some friends walked out of a bodega the cops had been watching.

Haste, who followed Graham back to his apartment, “advanced into the hallway of the apartment with his firearm drawn, where he encountered Mr. Graham. According to Officer Haste, he gave commands to Mr. Graham to the effect of, ‘Police, show me your hands,'” according to investigators. Haste said Graham faced him “with his hand in his waistband” and “then made a motion as if he were pulling something out of his pants.”

Constance Malcolm, Graham’s mother, said, “It’s been four years and to wait four years and get this decision, it’s like a slap in the face.”