CIVIC CENTER — The heartbroken mother of Ramarley Graham blasted the city for allowing the police officer who killed her son to quit before he was fired, saying "black lives don't matter" as much as political gamesmanship for Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Hours after the NYPD announced Richard Haste had quit the force after he was found guilty at an agency trial in the fatal shooting death of Ramarley Graham in his own home, the teen's mother, Constance Malcolm, stood outside 1 Police Plaza Monday to blast the mayor and the city for paying lip service to caring about minorities.
"Mayor Bill de Blasio, you show us again, time and time again, that black lives don't matter to you," Malcolm said, adding that despite being promised by the NYPD that she'd be notified of the judge's ruling, Malcolm said she found out Sunday only after reporters asked her lawyer for comment.
The mayor only cares about his political future, and has refused to meet with her, she said.
"The mayor need to grow a backbone," she said. "Since the NYPD turned their back to him, he's been so soft on them. Ever since they turned their back on him he's catered to the NYPD."
Haste and his partner chased the 18-year-old Graham into his Bronx home and then fatally shot him in his own bathroom while his 8-year-old brother and grandmother were inside the apartment.
"There's no way a cop should be able to break into your home, kill an unarmed person and walk free," Malcolm said.
Haste, who was with the NYPD for 10 years, told the Daily News he was prevented from speaking to Malcolm by his former union and the NYPD's press office — but would like to reach out now that he's no longer a police officer.
Malcolm, though, said he showed no indication that he regretted his actions.
"First of all, Richard Haste sat through a trial and lied up there," she said. "Now you want to meet with me? That was your opportunity on that stand."
Malcolm, who settled a civil suit against Haste and the NYPD for nearly $4 million, said no amount of money could take away her pain — and that she'd continue to fight for her son's memory.
"As long as I'm here, I'm going to continue to fight. I'm not going to stop. This is not the end," she said.
Austin Finan, a spokesman for the mayor, said that the "unionized city employees have a right to due process" and that allows a defendant time to respond.
“While the New York City Police Department aggressively — and publicly — sought Richard Haste’s termination from the force, he resigned upon learning the findings of his disciplinary trial and the trial commissioner’s recommended penalty," he said in an email.
“At the end of the day, the process ultimately worked: Mr. Haste is no longer a police officer."