Updated 03/22/2012 11:49 PM
Bronx Marchers Demand Justice For Unarmed Teen Shot By NYPD Officer
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The family of an unarmed Bronx teenager fatally shot by a New York City Police officer were joined by supporters for a Thursday vigil and they peacefully marched to a Bronx police precinct to demand that criminal charges be brought against the policeman who fired the fatal shot.
Ramarley Graham, 18, was shot last month by Police Officer Richard Haste, who along with several narcotics agents chased the teen into his house on East 229th Street in Wakefield after an alleged drug deal.
Graham's parents speak at the vigil
Surveillance video shows an officer kicked down the door, and the officers entered without a warrant.
NYPD officials say Haste found Graham in the bathroom, flushing marijuana down the toilet. They also say Haste fatally shot the teen in the chest, thinking mistakenly that the young man was armed.
On Thursday, Graham's family and supporters gathered in front of the house where the shooting took place, saying they will hold weekly vigils over 18 Thursdays to honor Graham's 18 years of life.
"This is a very, very hard time for me and for my family," said Constance Malcolm, Graham's mother.
The demonstrators then marched to the 47th Police Precinct in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx, to demand that the officers involved with the shooting face criminal charges.
Graham's family met with Kelly on Wednesday, and the police commissioner expressed his sympathy but said he could not do anything before the Bronx district attorney completes a criminal investigation.
"However you feel, it's a thousand times worse for us. There's not a day goes by that we don't sleep," said Franclot Graham, Ramarley's father. "And all we want for ourselves is justice and we want to be respected in this community, as citizens, as people, not be treated as animals. Because they killed my son like an animal."
"We stand here waiting for something to happen," said Royce Russell, the Graham family lawyer.
The Bronx district attorney told Graham's family on Wednesday that the investigation is ongoing.