THE BRONX — The departmental trial for the NYPD officer who fatally shot unarmed teen Ramarley Graham inside the bathroom of his Wakefield house almost five years ago is set for January, officials said Wednesday.
Graham, 18, was shot dead by Officer Richard Haste inside his house on following a foot pursuit. He was trying to flush a small amount of marijuana down a toilet when Haste opened fire, police said.
Haste, who was indicted by a grand jury but had the case tossed out because of improper jury instructions from the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, said he believed Graham had a gun in his possession at the time. No weapon was recovered, officials said.
Another officer and a sergeant will also face departmental trials in connection with the deadly shooting, police said.
“Haste will stand the department trial alone,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Stephen Davis said. “The other two can get resolved either through negotiation or through trial. That’s the process.”
Federal prosecutors said last year that there was insufficient evidence to file civil rights charges against Haste.
Haste could be fired by the NYPD pending the outcome of the trial.
Haste’s lawyer, Stuart London, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Loyda Colon, co-director of the Justice Committee, which has worked with the Graham family since the shooting death, said the announcement carries no weight and called for "full accountability" from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill.
“This is at least the third time that the de Blasio administration or NYPD has claimed a different month, with no specific date, of when Officer Haste’s trial would start, so they have no credibility with the family or community on this," said Colon.
"Ramarley’s family and the public still don’t know whether Haste is facing charges for the full extent of his misconduct or whether the 12 plus other officers who engaged in misconduct will face accountability," Colon added, saying it was time for "more than just rhetoric.”