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Ramarley Graham's Family 'Pessimistic' After Meeting with Ray Kelly

By Jeff Mays | March 22, 2012 3:35pm | Updated on March 22, 2012 6:25pm
Ramarley Graham's mother, Constance Malcoln, left, with attorney Royce Russell (middle) and gGraham's father Franclot Graham.
Ramarley Graham's mother, Constance Malcoln, left, with attorney Royce Russell (middle) and gGraham's father Franclot Graham.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

BRONX—The family of Ramarley Graham, the Bronx teenager shot dead in his home by police in February after they wrongly thought he had a gun, said they are "pessimistic" after meeting with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for the first time at police headquarters Tuesday.

At a vigil in front of the home Graham shared with his mother and grandmother, the family said they want the officer who shot Graham arrested.

"All we want for our son is justice," said Graham's teary-eyed father Franclot Graham.

"We want to be respected in the community as citizens, as people, and not be treated like animals because they killed my son like an animal," Graham said.

Graham family attorney Royce Russell described Kelly as apologetic and sympathetic during the meeting. He said the commissioner raised issues regarding training. But that's not enough, he added.

Ramarley Graham was killed by police Feb. 2, 2012.
Ramarley Graham was killed by police Feb. 2, 2012.
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"Sympathies were relayed. Can you point to a person that's not sympathetic? I don't think so. Anybody that has a child is going to be sympathetic," said Russell who added that he was angry that not enough action has been taken against the officer involved.

"We stand here waiting for something to happen. The Graham family wonders where is the arrest in this matter? What's taking so long in this matter?" he added.

Cops investigating a drug deal chased after Graham, who they believe had a gun in his waistband, from White Plains Road and East 228th Street to his home at 749 E. 229th St.

Officers tried to break through the front door of the building before being granted access. Then they broke through the front door of the apartment.

Once inside, Officer Richard Haste, 30, confronted Graham in the bathroom before shooting him in the chest as the teen's grandmother and brother looked on.

Police said they found a single bag of marijuana in the wake of the shooting.

Since the incident, Haste and his supervisor, Sgt. Scott Morris, have been stripped of their guns and badges. Those sanctions are insufficient, Russell said.

"Losing a job is not enough. Losing a pension is not enough," he said.

The family announced the founding of a foundation in Ramarley's name to build a youth center in the area. They also said they would rally every Thursday for the next 18 weeks to coincide with the length of Graham's life.

"I try to hold my memories of Ramarley. I'm hoping that we can get charges, an indictment going forward and this man Richard Haste brought to justice," said Graham's mother Constance Malcolm

Earlier this month, Graham's family met with officials from the Bronx District Attorney's office, which has convened a grand jury, DNAinfo revealed last week. Russell said the family planned to fully cooperate with the D.A.'s investigation of the killing.

"We want to see not only an indictment but a conviction," said Russell.

The Graham family previously filed a civil suit against the NYPD accusing them of harassing Franclot Graham's other sons in Harlem in 2010.

The family also plans to file a wrongful death suit against the city.

"However you feel it's a thousand times worse for us. Not a day goes by that I don't cry. We don't sleep," said Franclot Graham. "All we want for our son is justice."