On Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 8:36 PM, Scott Roberts, ColorOfChange.org <email@example.com> wrote:
In the year 2012, the number of young Black men that were victim of stop and frisk searches in New York nearly exceeded the city's population of young Black men.1 Unsurprisingly, at least twenty-one people were killed by the NYPD that year, including 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, who was stalked and gunned down by NYPD Officer Richard Haste.2 A judge threw out the grand jury's indictment of Officer Haste, and after two years of investigating, the Department of Justice has just ended their investigation by deciding not to file any charges.
After four years of fighting for Ramarley, his family must now accept that no one will ever be held accountable in a court of law. However, they are not giving up on holding the officers involved accountable. Outrageously, Officers Haste and others who tried to cover up the killing are still employed by the NYPD. Join Ramarley's family in demanding they be fired.
Over the last two years, local officials have claimed they could not act until the conclusion of the DOJ investigation, delaying any discipline for Officer Haste or others.3 It has now been four years since Ramarley was murdered. How much longer will his family have to wait for justice?
Murdered in what should have been the safety of his own home, Ramarley was fatally shot by Officer Haste in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother after the officer entered their residence without a warrant. Following the unjust shooting, police officers quickly began covering their tracks by promoting false statements about the incident, some of which were later retracted. Officers even tried to intimidate Ramarley's family, interrogating his grandmother for 7 hours and even assaulting his mother at the precinct4.
Join us in calling for Mayor de Blasio's administration to hold NYPD Officer Richard Haste and all the officers responsible for killing Ramarley, as well as those involved in obscuring the case and intimidating the Graham family.
The local justice system and the Department of Justice have failed Ramarley Graham and his family. Mayor de Blasio and NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton claim to be reforming the NYPD but they need to demonstrate that their commitment goes beyond press releases and PR announcements.
The killing of young Black men who pose no threat to officers or public safety — like Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, and now, Ramarley Graham — are anecdotes of the long history of NYPD inflicting brutality and violence on Black people. In 1999, officers fired 41 shots at Amadou Diallo, killing him in his Bronx apartment. In 2006, police fired 50 shots at Sean Bell, killing him on his wedding day in Queens. In both of these horrifying cases, the district attorney's office was unable to secure a guilty verdict. A lack of police accountability is what perpetuates these deadly police shootings in Black communities.
The officers who were involved in the killing of Ramarley and the attempted cover up should never be allowed to put on a police uniform again. Don't let them do what they did to Ramarley and his family to anyone else.
In peace and solidarity,
Scott, Rashad, Arisha, Enchanta and the rest of the ColorOfChange team
1. "Analysis Finds Racial Disparities, Ineffectiveness in NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Program; Links Tactic to Soaring Marijuana Arrest Rate," NYCLU, 05-22-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3414?t=6&akid=5475.2230747.HhErCq
2. "Will There Be Justice for NYPD Victim Ramarley Graham," The Nation, 08-21-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5950?t=8&akid=5475.2230747.HhErCq
3. "Why Ramarley Graham's Parents Just Slept On The DOJ's Steps," Huffington Post, 02-03-2016 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5951?t=10&akid=5475.2230747.HhErCq
4. "Ramarley Graham's Family Sues NYPD," The Guardian, 02-03-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5952?t=12&akid=5475.2230747.HhErCq
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