NYPD Officer Richard Haste turned himself in today to face first and second-degree manslaughter charges for shooting unarmed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham dead in February, the New York Daily News reports.
Haste walked into the Bronx Criminal Court with his lawyer Steward London who addressed reporters outside.
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“It’s always difficult but he’s being very strong,” London said. “He understands the seriousness of these charges and he also feels for the family and understands the tragic nature, that’s there’s a loss of life. He’s nervous but confident.”
On Feb. 2, Haste ran after Graham after he and other members of a narcotics unit allegedly observed the teen in a drug deal. The officers were allegedly told via radio that Graham was armed. Police claim that the teen ran from them towards his home. But video surveillance shows the teen walking into his grandmother’s Bronx apartment.
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Several officers are seen running to the teen’s front door trying to kick it open. Once inside, Haste said that he identified himself as an officer before shooting inside of the bathroom. Haste said he believed the teen had a gun. Graham, in fact, was unarmed. A bag of marijuana was found near his body and officers believe he was trying to flush it down the toilet.
Shortly after Haste turned himself in, 20 friends and family members of the slain teen entered the courthouse in a straight line, according to the New York Post. Allies and friends outside of the courthouse chanted, “Justice for Ramarley … jail the cops!”
“I’m here to support the family and let them know they are not alone in this terrible time,” Jose LaSalle told The Post, while passing out more than a dozen baby blue and gold-trimmed ribbons to show solidarity with the Graham family.
The NYPD has admitted that Haste did not have the required training needed to be a member of the narcotics unit he was with on the day he killed Graham. The Post also reports that Haste was named as a defendant in a police brutality case last year.
Haste, a four-year veteran of the force, is being held on $50,000 bond. If convicted, Haste faces 25 years in prison.
Ramarley Graham Update: Cop Who Killed Teen Turns Himself In was originally published on newsone.com