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Officer Who Killed Ramarley Graham Quits After Guilty Verdict at NYPD Trial

By Katie Honan | March 27, 2017 7:09am | Updated on March 27, 2017 7:39am
 Officer Richard Haste, center, is arraigned on manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of Ramarley Graham.
Officer Richard Haste, center, is arraigned on manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of Ramarley Graham.
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AP/Richard Drew

THE BRONX — The police officer who fatally shot unarmed Ramarley Graham in the bathroom of his Wakefield home in 2012 quit the NYPD after he was found guilty on all counts in a departmental trial, officials said.

Police Officer Richard Haste was informed Sunday that he was found guilty on all counts by Administrative Judge Rosemarie Maldonado, who recommended he be fired, according to the NYPD. 

The officer, a 10-year veteran of the NYPD, decided to quit instead.

Graham's mother, Constance Malcolm, blasted the decision to let Haste quit, saying it was too little too late. 

"Five years after my son was killed, they made me take off work to sit through a trial while in the end, they let Richard Haste off the hook and are continuing to give the other officers responsible for killing Ramarley and other misconduct every opportunity to escape accountability," Malcolm said in a statement.

"Richard Haste should have been in prison but instead of firing him, the de Blasio administration let him resign," she added. "Every step of the way, the mayor and NYPD have dragged their heels and have refused to hold officers accountable for murdering my son."

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said in a statement he "fully concurred with the findings and recommendations" of the trial, which began in January.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the NYPD trial "ended with the right decision: termination."

"Nothing can take away the profound pain left after his loss, but I hope the conclusion of this difficult process brings some measure of justice to those who loved him," he said in a statement.

The family's lawyer, Royce Russell, slammed the city for working "hand in hand to avoid accountability and transparency."

"So Haste murders an innocent black young man in front of his grandmother and little brother, by illegally entering his home, and he is rewarded by maintaining his employment, receiving raises and ultimately deciding on what terms he leaves the NYPD," he said in a statement. 

Haste was first indicted in 2013, but didn't go to trial because the district attorney's office gave improper instructions to the grand jury, a judge ruled.

A second grand jury, in which Haste testified, decided not to indict him on criminal charges.

His departmental trial was only to determine if he should be fired from the NYPD. He testified about the Feb. 2, 2012 incident in which he chased Graham, 18, from a nearby bodega into his home.

He and a partner broke down the door into the teen's home and found him at the end of a hallway — finally chasing him into a bathroom, where Graham went to flush a small amount of marijuana into the toilet.

Haste said during testimony that he thought the teen had a gun and he "was about to get shot" when he fired at the teen, killing him.

"I was convinced there is absolutely no way I am going to live, and get out of there alive," Haste said. "I expected to be dead."

His lawyer, Stuart London, did not immediately respond to a request to comment.