A Bronx judge has thrown out the indictment on manslaughter charges filed against the officer accused in the shooting death of Ramarley Graham, saying the grand jury was accidentally misled by the district attorney's office. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Constance Malcolm, the mother of Ramarley Graham, couldn't hide her feelings when Judge Stephen Barrett threw out the manslaughter indictment against police officer Richard Haste.
"You killed my God damn child, you son of a bitch," Malcolm yelled in the courtroom.
Haste shot and killed the unarmed teen last year. He said he thought Graham had a gun.
Judge Barrett said Bronx prosecutors made a major mistake in the grand jury process.
"I believe that inadvertently, the district attorney's instructions did mislead the jury," the judge said.
Officer Haste has said he chased Graham into the teen's home because other officers put over the police radio that the teen had a gun. Haste shot and killed Graham in the bathroom, but no gun was found.
Judge Barrett ruled that the grand jury should have been able to consider what other officers reported.
"In effect, the grand jury was told, by both commission and omission, that the communications of other officers to officer Haste were not relevant," Judge Barrett said. "That's my conclusion in reading this instruction, and that is error."
Outside court, supporters of Graham's family were outraged.
"We will continue to fight wherever this fight leads," said Franclot Graham, Ramarley Graham's father. "If we have to go to the Justice Department, then that's where we'll go."
"The people of Bronx County and the citizens of America will not go away, will not cease and desist against police violence, excessive force, against, obviously, murder," said Attorney Royce Russell.
Inside the courtroom, Haste didn't say a word, but his union said the judge made the right decision.
"No police officer ever wants to draw their weapon and be in this situation, so it's a difficult time for everyone," said Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.
Everyone involved in the case knows it's likely to continue. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said his office will decide if it will appeal the judge's ruling or present the case to another grand jury.
Following the decision, the Rev. Al Sharpton released a statement, saying, "This is an outrageous miscarriage of justice and an insult to the family and supporters of Ramarley Graham. We demand that a new grand jury is convened immediately and that the case is re-presented."