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NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer who shot an unarmed teenager to death will not face federal civil rights charges, officials announced Tuesday, closing an investigation into a case activists have invoked in decrying police killings of black men.

There wasn’t enough evidence to support charges in the 2012 death of Ramarley Graham, who was shot in the bathroom of his Bronx home by an officer who had followed him inside during a drug investigation, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office said in a statement.

The decision ends the possibility of criminal charges against Officer Richard Haste, who was indicted earlier on a state manslaughter charge that a judge dismissed, saying prosecutors had improperly instructed grand jurors. Another grand jury then declined to re-indict Haste, who said he fired at the 18-year-old Graham because he thought he was going to be shot. Graham was black; Haste is white.

Haste’s lawyer, Stuart London, said the officer was gratified by federal prosecutors’ decision.

“There never were any winners in this case,” he said.

Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, said she wasn’t surprised to see the federal probe end without charges.

“I didn’t have no faith in the system” after seeing what happened in the state case, she said by phone. “With the (federal prosecutors), I already had my guard up.”

Graham’s parents (pictured) and civil rights activists held an overnight protest last month at Bharara’s office, sleeping on the concrete steps of the Manhattan office building to protest what they believed was a lag in the investigation.

Graham’s relatives, who settled a lawsuit against the city for $3.9 million, are now focusing on pressing the New York Police Department to fire Haste and other officers involved in the moments surrounding Graham’s death.

Haste is expected now to face disciplinary charges that could result in a punishment as light as losing vacation days or as serious as firing.

According to Bharara’s office, narcotics officers watching a Bronx corner store on Feb. 2, 2012, spotted Graham outside it, adjusting his pants in a way officers thought might indicate a gun, and they radioed his description to other officers.

Haste heard the description and confronted Graham, who went into his house. Officers forced their way inside and Haste ordered Graham to put up his hands and followed him to the bathroom.

Haste told authorities he though Graham was reaching for a gun and fired. But police found no weapons in the apartment. Graham’s grandmother and 6-year-old brother were also home when the shot hit the teen’s chest.

The Graham family’s lawyer, Royce Russell, said the relatives had hoped the case would at least be brought to a federal grand jury.

But prosecutors noted that in order to bring charges, they would have to establish that Haste didn’t have probable cause to believe he or other officers were in danger of death or serious injury. And prosecutors said they found no evidence to refute Haste’s claim that he believed Graham was going for a gun.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch, who heads the NYPD officers’ union, said Haste acted while making a “good-faith effort” to combat serious public problems” guns and drugs.

But the Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy at Graham’s funeral, said the federal prosecutors’ decision was “very painful” for both Graham’s family and the public.

Graham’s death has been cited during numerous demonstrations after grand juries in Missouri and New York declined to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner on Staten Island. The deaths fueled a national conversation about policing and race. A federal grand jury is currently hearing evidence in Garner’s case.

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7 thoughts on “No Federal Charges In Ramarley Graham Case

  1. redbone1954 on said:

    What ever happened to shoot someone in a area where it would not kill them? And this song and dance about “I thought he had a gun” is wearing thin.and I know police officers have a thankless job but it is the job you chose and i know it is a lot to deal with but so do Black men! There are plenty of Black men that take care of their families go to work and do the right thing not all all Black men are hoodlums!

  2. Arthur Childress on said:

    They didn’t find a gun because there was no gun. This was another straight up murder. America’s law-enforcement agencies are nothing more than havens for demented, racist cops like haste who only become cops so that can kill Black men with impunity>

  3. Linda on said:

    There will NEVER BE JUSTICE in this cesspool called America when it comes to PIGS and their brutality/killings.

    We can thank Supreme Court musketeers-Thomas/Roberts/Scalia who gave the PIGS carte blanche to do whatever they want in communities of color!!!!!!!!!

    My heart goes out to all African American mothers who have sons because there is a BOUNTY on them!!!!!!!!!

  4. STOPTHEKILLINGS on said:

    AND IT STILL GOES ON. IT IS ONLY GONNA GET WORSE. THEY ARE GETTING OFF LEFT AND RIGHT KILLING UNARMED BLACK MALES AND FEMALES SAYING THEY FEAR FOR THEIR LIVES, I THOUGHT HE WAS GONNA SHOOT. AND HE WAS SELLING ILLEGAL CIGARETTES., HE WAS TRYIG TO DRIVE AWAY, HE HAD MY TASER, HE HAD A TOY GUN IN A STORE THAT SOLD THE GUN. THE LIST JUST GOES ON AND ON. THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO GET OUT AND VOTE. WE NEED TO STOP KILLING EACH OTHER BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER TO USE SO WHY SHOULD IT TO THEM.. DON’T LET TRUMP GET IN FOR PRESIDENT OR YOU ARE GONNA SEE MORE AND MORE OF THIS HATRIED….

  5. Honestly on said:

    Nubians you can’t get justice from the cave n!@@er’s system. That neanderthal ape haste murdered this child in cold blood in front of his grandmother and 6 year old brother. They will be traumatized by seeing this for the rest of their existence on this earth. These mayonnaise monkeys need to be exterminated. They didn’t kill the cave n!@@er dillon who went on a murderous rampage and attacked two cave n!@@ers with badges. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

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