New York police officer who fatally shot Bronx teen resigns

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 27, 2017 10:25 AM

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A white New York City police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in his Bronx apartment in 2012 has resigned, ending years of legal action and investigations into the case, the police department said.

Richard Haste quit his job on Sunday, two days after an administrative judge found him guilty of demonstrating poor judgment in shooting 18-year-old Ramarley Graham and recommended the officer be terminated, police said in a statement on Monday.

Police Commissioner James O'Neill, who would have been responsible for firing Haste, "fully concurred with the findings and recommendations" of the judge, police said.

"Nothing can take away the profound pain left after (Graham's) loss, but I hope the conclusion of this difficult process brings some measure of justice to those who loved him," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

Haste was working on the police department's narcotics detail on Feb. 2, 2012 when he and his partner followed Graham from a bodega to his apartment.

The officers kicked down the door and Haste shot Graham in his bathroom. The officer said he believed Graham was reaching for a gun when he fired at him.

Haste was indicted by a grand jury on manslaughter charges, but a county judge dismissed the indictment after finding that the grand jury had received improper instructions.

Federal prosecutors later decided not to pursue criminal charges against Haste, citing insufficient evidence.

New York City agreed in January 2015 to pay $3.9 million to resolve a federal lawsuit brought by the Graham family over the killing.

Haste could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Bernard Orr)