Reverend Al Sharpton and other clergy members traveled to the Bronx Monday to denounce the police shooting death of an unarmed teenager earlier this month. NY1’s Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Clergy members from around the city gathered Monday to denounce what they’re calling the senseless murder of Ramarley Graham.
A New York City Police Department narcotics officer shot and killed the 18-year-old inside his 229th Street home earlier this month.
Sources tell NY1 that the officer's name is Richard Haste.
Reverend Al Sharpton said the NYPD should release information about all of the officers involved.
"We don't even know the background of the police. Have they had complaints before? Do they have a pattern of this? This code of silence must be broken," said Sharpton.
The teenager's father joined the ministers who gathered in front of the district attorney's office. The group is demanding that the officer be charged with murder.
"It starts from Robert Johnson, the district attorney here of Bronx county, setting the example, investigating this matter and prosecuting those who are responsible," said Royce Russell, the Graham family’s attorney.
Police patrolling White Plains Road say they thought Graham had a gun on February 2.
When he ran off, they chased him into his house. He was shot in his bathroom.
Reverend Herbert Daughtry said it reminds him of a Bronx grandmother shot and killed by police in her home in 1984.
"Eleanor Bumpurs was her name, and here we are years and years later, and a young man in his own home is blown away," said Daughtry.
The clergy members say they have a good working relationship with the city's administration and often team up with the police department to fight crime in various communities, but they say the city must do more to prevent cases of police brutality and misconduct.
"We don't have an adversarial relationship with the mayor as we did during the Giuliani era, we have a real, real good relationship with the mayor, but black people are still being killed in New York," said Reverend Conrad Tillard of the Nazarene Congregational Church.
"We want the mayor and the City Council to launch a serious investigation in how we redo policing in the city of New York,” said Reverend Franklyn Richardson of the National Action Network.
Reverend Sharpton said anyone thinking about running for mayor will have to address the shooting if they plan to ask for the support of black clergy members.