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Community Mourns Bronx Teen Killed By Narcotics Officers

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TWC News: Community Mourns Bronx Teen Killed By Narcotics Officers
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Funeral services were held in the Bronx Saturday for Ramarley Graham, the unarmed teenager who was shot to death by police officers earlier this month, and many of those present stopped in front of the 47th Precinct to protest the NYPD's response to the incident.

The hearse carrying Graham's body drove to the precinct following the funeral, and dozens of cars in the procession honked their horns.

Graham's family got out and stood outside. Graham's father, Franclot, maintains that some officers are making light of his son's death.

"Sitting on top of the building laughing," he said.

Earlier in the day, family, friends, dignitaries and even strangers paid their respects at Crawford Memorial United Methodist Church on White Plains Road.

Graham has a large family, and many came in from Jamaica for the service.

On February 2, police officers shot and killed the unarmed teen inside of his home on East 229th Street, after they thought he was armed.

The officer who shot Graham and the officer's sergeant were both placed on modified duty.

Pastor Harold Morris of Crawford Memorial said this is a very difficult time and that all he can do is pray for the family.

“It’s a very, very tough time for them, and it’s a very tough time for this community,” said Morris. “Even through the service last night, they were screaming ‘justice, justice.’ And I just hope something can be resolved from this very quickly.”

Graham's six-year-old brother, who was in the apartment during the shooting, told the crowd at the funeral that he loved his big brother and missed him.

Many speakers at the funeral criticized the NYPD's conduct.

"The reason why we are outraged is because if he is not safe in his bathroom, none of us are," said the Reverend Al Sharpton.

"NYPD busts in like a beast in human form. Not a police officer, a beast," said Abdul Hafeez Muhammad of the Nation of Islam.

Royce Russell, the lawyer for the Graham family, broke down in tears while speaking about police brutality.

"There is no difference between myself and this young man here when it comes down to the eyes of the police," said Russell.

Elected officials and community leaders say they will now organize civil disobedience and perhaps mass arrests, as they did in response to the Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell police shooting cases.

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