Undercover NYPD officer indicted for manslaughter in fatal shooting of unarmed teen www.privateofficer.com
A Bronx grand jury has voted first- and second-degree manslaughter counts against Officer Richard Haste, a four-year NYPD veteran, for the Feb. 2 shooting of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham.
The shooting of Graham, who was black, in his Wakefield home sparked accusations of racial bias and overaggressive policing.
Haste, who is white, has been on modified duty since the incident. He faces up to 25 years in prison.
The Bronx DA’s Office argued that Haste, 30, not only didn’t follow NYPD procedure but also committed criminal acts when he opened fire, sources said.
The shooting led to an outcry in Wakefield and prompted comparisons to the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly even paid his respects to Graham’s grieving family.
Cops assigned to an undercover street narcotics unit had noticed Graham on the street that day and thought he was carrying a gun in his waistband in the moments before the incident.
Haste and other cops followed him into his second-floor apartment on East 229th Street and burst into the bathroom, where he was hiding.
That’s when Haste shot Graham, who had a small amount of marijuana and was apparently trying to flush it down the toilet.No gun was recovered.
The NYPD later acknowledged Haste did not receive the required training to operate in a plainclothes street-narcotics unit.
“The facts in this case will demonstrate that this police officer believed that he was pursuing an armed felon who bolted rather than be caught with an illegal gun,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch. “We believe that this officer will be exonerated.”
Sgt. Scott Morris, Haste’s superviser, remains on modified duty and faces internal NYPD charges, sources said.
Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, said she’ll host a vigil for her son on Thursday.
“We’ll be heard,” she said.