Bronx residents marched to the 47th Precinct Friday night to protest the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old at the hands of narcotics officers, and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said an investigation into the incident is ongoing. NY1’s Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Bronx residents took to the streets Friday night and marched to the 47th Precinct to demand answers.
The rally came as the family of Ramarley Graham attempted to cope with his tragic death at the hands of a police officer.
"To the mayor of this city, to the police commissioner of this city: we are sick and tired of this [expletive]," said Neville Mitchell, the lawyer for Graham’s landlord.
Police say on Thursday afternoon, narcotics officers patrolling the area of White Plains road and 228th Street put over the radio two separate times that they thought Graham had a gun.
Police say they ordered the teen to stop but that he went into his house on 229th Street.
When officers couldn't get into the front door of the home, they entered from the back.
Police say they were given the okay to enter, but lawyers for the family say that's not true.
“When the police do not even think to get a search warrant because they don't think that they need to get a search warrant, when the police are above the law, nobody is safe,” said Jeffrey Emdin, the Graham family lawyer.
Police say they proceeded to his family's second floor apartment and knocked on the door.
“When they got no response, they broke open the door,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Once police were inside, they say the teen ran into the bathroom.
According to Kelly, the officer shouted, “Show me your hands! Show me your hands!” and ”Gun! Gun!”
“The partner said he then heard the shot,” said Kelly.
No gun was found.
Police say it appears the teen was dumping marijuana in the toilet.
“We are asking for the federal government, for the U.S. attorney's office of the southern district to step in and oversee this investigation,” said Graham Weatherspoon of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance.
The teen’s grandmother was in the apartment at the time. The family's supporters say she was aggressively questioned at the 47th Precinct right after the shooting,
"For them to keep her in the precinct for seven hours against her will, refusing to give her her medication and getting a statement,” said community activist Carlton Berkley.
Kelly said that complaint will be investigated as police try to figure out what went tragically wrong in this case.
Graham's Relatives Respond To Fatal Shooting
Graham's relatives say they are devastated by his death and are demanding more answers from police.
"The police kill him...for what? Him no have a gun, not a weapon, not nothing. He smoke weed, that's about it," said Graham's brother, Delmar Scott.
"They do deserve the death penalty. They need it. They need it badly. I don't believe in the death penalty myself but he needs it. The way this happened, he needs it, he needs it," said Graham's sister-in-law Sarah George.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Graham's mother said officers went too far.
"Like a regular kid, he's like you know, just like any other kid. You know you have kids who get in trouble, simple other stuff. But he wasn't that bad, he wasn't a bad kid. Not the kind of kid who carries guns around and slings no guns, he's not that type of kid," said Graham's mother, Constance Malcolm.
The shooting officer and his supervising sergeant - both assigned to the 47th Precinct - have been placed on modified duty pending an investigation.
Meantime, a makeshift memorial has been set up in front of the house where the shooting took place.
A large crowd gathered outside of the home, where community affairs officers were posted to help control the situation.
This is the third time in the past week that city police officers have shot and killed a suspect.