Backers of black teen shot by white cop march through NYC

AP News
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Posted: Jun 02, 2016 4:38 PM
Backers of black teen shot by white cop march through NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — The mother of an unarmed black teenager fatally shot by a white policeman in front of his grandmother and little brother joined supporters Thursday for a 17-mile march to police headquarters to demand that the officers involved in the 2012 slaying be fired.

"It's been four long years, but I'm not willing to give up yet," said Constance Malcolm, the mother of Ramarley Graham.

About 30 people started a daylong walk from the three-story Bronx building where Graham was shot toward police headquarters in lower Manhattan. They chanted, "Whose streets? Our streets!" and "No justice? No peace!" as passing drivers honked in support.

Graham was 18 when he was shot once in the bathroom of his Bronx home by an officer who had barged inside during a drug investigation.

The New York Police Department officer who shot Graham, Richard Haste, has said in a court filing that he fired because he believed Graham was reaching for a gun. No weapon was ever found.

Haste was initially indicted in the Bronx on a state manslaughter charge, but a judge dismissed the case after determining that prosecutors had improperly instructed grand jurors. A new grand jury cleared the officer.

The Department of Justice declined to file civil rights charges against Haste in March, eliminating any chance that he would face criminal charges.

The family settled a lawsuit against the city for $3.9 million last year.

Haste was stripped of his badge and gun after the shooting, but officials said an internal disciplinary proceeding against him had been put on hold pending the outcome of the federal investigation. The disciplinary proceedings are now underway, though police officials said it was too soon to say whether Haste would face a departmental trial.

"We all understand that we had deferred previously to the DOJ, but once that DOJ process is over the NYPD process occurs," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said Thursday. "There will absolutely be an outcome. We're not going to prejudge the outcome. This will be attended to."

Malcolm said Haste and any other officers who were present at the shooting should be fired.

"They should not be working," she said.

Marchers said they wanted to put pressure on de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to take action.

"Someone must be held accountable," said City Councilman Andy King, a Bronx Democrat. "Justice will be served or someone must be held accountable."

Haste's lawyer, Stuart London, has said there were "never any winners in this case."

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Associated Press writer Jake Pearson contributed to this report.