Thursday, December 25, 2014

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Police Officer Accused Of Shooting Unarmed Bronx Teen Appears In Court

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A police officer charged with shooting and killing an unarmed teenager appeared in court Thursday as supporters of the teen's family gathered there, too. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Upset residents and activists chanted outside State Supreme Court in the Bronx as Officer Richard Haste appeared for a brief hearing.

Haste is charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Bronx teen Ramarley Graham in February inside the teen's apartment on 229th Street.

Street narcotics officers say they followed him home after seeing him with a gun.

In court, Haste was silent but his attorney, Stuart London, asked for any evidence the Bronx District Attorney has in the case that could back that up.

"I think there were many statements made from many witnesses that there were observations made that the defendant had a hand gun," London said.

Video surveillance from Graham's home shows him walking into his house, officers chasing behind. He was shot dead in his second-floor bathroom.

Haste says he thought the teen was reaching for a gun. But Graham was unarmed. A small amount of marijuana was found in the toilet.

"I have received many, many documents from the DA's office, most of it forensic in nature," London said. "A lot of crime scene photos, DNA analysis. I have not received any internal affairs bureau reports, although I'm not sure the DA is in possession of them as we speak."

The DA's office says it will turn over all of the evidence it is supposed to. In the meantime, Ramarley Graham's family and attorneys say they will be keeping a close watch on the case.

"We are going to do what we need to do to keep his memory alive and fight for justice," said Franclot Graham, Ramarley's father. "We will never stop."

"The family will stand strong, the community will stand strong to make sure the process happens fairly, that there is no biases, there is no prejudice, there is no police above the law and therefore, they get a different code of justice," said Royce Russell, the attorney for Ramarley Graham's family.

Officer Haste is scheduled to be back in court in December. Ramarley Graham's family and supporters say they will be there as well.

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