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Ramarley Graham Shooting Goes to Grand Jury

By Murray Weiss | March 13, 2012 10:56am

MANHATTAN — The Bronx District Attorney has convened a grand jury to determine whether NYPD cops should face criminal charges in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Ramarley Graham, DNAinfo has learned.

Detectives from the 47th Precinct have also met with prosecutors to give information about witnesses they spoke to in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Graham, 18, who was gunned down in the bathroom of his grandmother's East 229th Street apartment.

Officer Richard Haste, 30, who fired the single shot, claimed he believed Graham was carrying a gun and said that only after he yelled “Police, Police” and "Show Your Hands" did he fire the fatal shot.

Graham’s 6-year-old brother and his grandmother saw the tragic shooting, which sparked outrage in the community. His grandmother was then taken to the station house for several hours after the shooting. 

Jeffrey Emdin, a lawyer for the Graham family, told DNAinfo that the family promised "full cooperation" with the Bronx DA's office.

The family also plans to file a notice of claim with the city this week to sue for the wrongful death of Graham, Emdin added.

Haste and Sergeant Scott Morris were both stripped of their guns and badges and placed on modified desk duty assignments after the Graham shooting.

They were part of a four-man Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit targeting low-level dealing in the precinct. 

Haste had just joined the unit, but he had yet to receive any required training, which the department only conducts every six months.

The quartet of SNU cops were conducting surveillance of a bodega near Graham’s home when they spotted Graham and a few of his pals allegedly peddling marijuana. One cop radioed that he saw Graham reach toward his waistband and believed he had a gun.

The cops then pursued Graham along the street to his building where, after trying to get through the front locked lobby door, they entered through a backyard, ground-floor apartment with the help of its tenant.

They then made their way up a flight of stairs where a cop — not Haste — kicked in the grandmother’s door, according to a source.

When Graham entered his apartment he warned his grandmother that “the cops were coming,” sources said.

The fact that Haste had received no formal training before joining the special narcotics team prompted NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to call for a thorough investigation of training protocols for the NYPD’s 36 SNU teams.

With additional reporting by Jeff Mays.