The Cops Who Killed Ramarley Graham Walk Free (#NOJUSTICE)

hasteisakiller

  • ColorOfChange.Org  is urging the United States Department of Justice to hold New York cop Richard Haste accountable for killing an unarmed teenager inside of his home. Haste is one of several out-of-uniform NYPD police officers who chased down an 18-year old Ramarley Graham, broke into his house and savagely murdered him in his own bathroom.
  • One of the ‘defenses’ police officers most commonly cite to “justify” their continuing murder of young unarmed Black men is that their target would not stop for them when ordered to. However, just as in the case of the NYPD killing of  Ahmed Amadou Diallo fifteen years ago, the officers wore plain clothes, carried guns and did not even identify themselves as police (not that this is even relevant since they had no reason to be chasing him in the first place!).
  • When a Black man, in a predominantly Black neighborhood, sees a bunch of scary-ass white men running at him and aiming guns in his direction, what is he supposed to presume, that they’re coming to protect him?! Hell no! Common sense would tell any thinking person that they intend to do him harm.
  • In the case of Ramarley Graham, just as in the case of Ahmed Amadou Diallo, he was murdered inside the confines of his own home. The only difference is that Diallo was gunned down as he was entering his apartment, whereas Graham was in another room entirely when police officers violently kicked down the door and murdered him in cold blood.
  • And just like in the case of Diallo, Graham’s murderers walked free. The deaths of these young men were treated by the State as inconsequential, and the the fact that the cops who took their lives away from them are granted the freedom to go on with their lives as if nothing ever happened should serve as a wake-up call to the masses. The American system exploits, oppresses and kills people with impunity, and no politician is ultimately going to do anything about it without an intense amount of pressure and an uncompromising stance in the face of these brutal thug police oppressors who ravage poor Black & Brown Communities.
  • During the “Occupy” Movement demonstrations in 2011, one of the main mistakes protesters made was showing compassion for the repressive police forces. Some protesters were even heard crying, “We’re fighting against your pension-cuts too!” – even as these very officers were tear-gassing and beating them over the head with batons. Any successful Revolutionary Movement will have to come to terms with the fact that the police IDENTIFY with “the 1%” that the movement railed against, regardless of how their own economic situation is. When they swore an oath to “serve & protect the community”, who do you think “the community” alludes to? Here’s a hint: there’s a 99% chance that it doesn’t include you.

**SIGN THE COLOR OF CHANGE PETITION HERE AND DEMAND THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO SEE THAT OFFICER RICHARD HASTE IS PUT AWAY WHERE HE CAN NO LONGER HARM YOUNG ONES ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK CITY**

 

ramarleyprotestsnyc

 

-The following was received in an email sent out by ColorOfChange.Org and its content is accredited solely to them:

 

Two years ago, plainclothes NYPD Officer Richard Haste stalked and gunned down Ramarley Graham, a frightened, unarmed, and nonviolent 18-year old who was attempting to flush marijuana down the toilet in his Bronx home.1

Bronx County District Attorney Robert Johnson’s office convened a Grand Jury which voted to indict Officer Haste, but a judge threw out the indictment, citing prosecutorial error. A second Grand Jury refused to re-indict Haste.2

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has a duty to protect our community against racial profiling and deadly police violence, especially when local or state prosecutors fail to do so.3 But the DOJ will only pursue this case if enough of us raise our voices and demonstrate a groundswell of national outrage.

Please join us in demanding that the DOJ and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara make this case a high priority, conduct a thorough investigation into Ramarley Graham’s death and bring federal charges against NYPD Officer Richard Haste. It only takes a moment.

In February of 2012, surveillance cameras from a neighboring home clearly captured Officer Haste and several other plainclothes officers — who were working undercover as part of the NYPD street narcotics unit — chasing Ramarley into his home. Violating the police rules of conduct, Haste violently kicked in the door and entered without a search warrant.4

For more than a decade, the NYPD has relied heavily on the discriminatory Stop and Frisk practice, relentlessly subjecting Black and brown New Yorkers to racial profiling, constant harassment, violence, and suspicionless street searches.5Ramarley was one of at least 21 people killed by the NYPD in 2012,6 a year when the number of Stop and Frisk searches of young Black men nearly eclipsed the entire city’s population of young Black men.7 Racially biased and unconstitutional policies like these lead to blanket suspicions of entire communities, unlawful arrests, and a culture of impunity which endangers young lives like Ramarley’s.

The killing of unarmed young Black men who pose no threat to officers or public safety — like Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell — highlights the long history of brutality and violence perpetrated by the NYPD against members of our community. In 1999, officers fired 41 shots at Diallo, killing him in his Bronx apartment, and in 2006, police fired 50 shots at Bell, killing him on his wedding day in Queens.8 In both of these horrifying cases, the district attorney’s office was unable to secure a guilty verdict. And some of the officers involved in these deadly altercations were allowed to remain on the police force with their gun-carrying privileges restored.9

State and local prosecutors regularly collaborate with police officers and this close relationship inhibits them from thoroughly investigating and prosecuting law enforcement involved in wrongdoing.10 After the Bronx County District Attorney’s office failed to re-indict Officer Haste, the DOJ and United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced that they would review the case to determine whether Ramarley’s civil rights were violated.11 It’s time for federal officials to take action.

Join us in demanding that the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney hold Officer Haste accountable for his deadly actions. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same.

Thanks and Peace,

–Matt, Rashad, Arisha, Jamar, Aimée and the rest of the ColorOfChange team
April 15th, 2014

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.

References

1. “Will There Be Justice for NYPD Victim Ramarley Graham?,” The Nation, 08-21-13
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3418?t=9&akid=3353.1640899.i54erp

2. “Grand Jury Decides Not to Charge Officer Who Fatally Shot Unarmed Youth in Bronx,” NY Times, 08-13-13
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3406?t=11&akid=3353.1640899.i54erp

3. “Obama cracks down on abuses by big-city police departments,” Salon, 05-30-11
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3408?t=13&akid=3353.1640899.i54erp

4. “Video of NYPD Breaking into Ramarley Graham’s Home Prior to Murdering Him,” Daily Kos, 02-06-12
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3419?t=15&akid=3353.1640899.i54erp

5. “Stop-and-Frisk Didn’t Make New York Safer,” The Atlantic, 03-26-14
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3410?t=17&akid=3353.1640899.i54erp

6. See reference 1.

7. “Analysis Finds Racial Disparities, Ineffectiveness in NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Program; Links Tactic to Soaring Marijuana Arrest Rate,” NYCLU, 05-22-13
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3414?t=19&akid=3353.1640899.i54erp

8. “Diallo’s Mother Asks Why Officer Who Shot at Her Son Will Get Gun Back,” NY Times, 10-02-12
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3415?t=21&akid=3353.1640899.i54erp

9. See reference 9.

10. “Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States,” Human Rights Watch, Accessed 04-12-13
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3420?t=23&akid=3353.1640899.i54erp

11. “Federal Government Will Review Ramarley Graham Shooting,” Wall Street Journal, 08-13-13
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3417?t=25&akid=3353.1640899.i54erp

18 thoughts

  1. Signed the petition, Caleb. Thanks for keeping this in the spotlight where it belongs. It is unconscionable that rank-and-file law enforcement refuse to recognize that they are not in the same class as the shot callers. Per the Army’s website, E1 Privates make $18,378…that’s Wal-Mart territory. They are considered just as expendable as the rest of us by the elite. Race is one of the most effective ways to enforce class war and the elite have perfected it in the U.S.

    “How to spark the Revolutionary fire that burned in the minds and hearts of so many back then, especially since we live in a time where things are certainly just as repressive as they were then?!”…good question. It seems like the most brilliant move made by the ruling class was employing the current POTUS to co-opt the hard-won victories of the civil rights, black/brown power, anti-war and progressive movements. He has effectively muted dissent as people keep waiting for hope and change that ain’t going to come from him. And just when people are starting to wake up to his true nature, a lackey for Wall Street, he’s on his way out the door.

    1. Good point. Although I must say the dearth of Revolutionary advocacy was certainly there even before Barack Obama became President. I mean, just think about the 1980s and 1990s for example. You had it being exposed that the CIA and Reagan Administration were illegally funneling arms to Iranians rebels and training mujahadeen, as well as dealing in crack for weapons and overthrowing democratically-elected governments in Latin America. And then the appearance of crack in the ghetto which was encouraged by the government in order to act as the catalyst for the current Prison Industrial Complex. I mean, I know there were some Leftists who were pointing to what was happening at the time and trying to organize to stop it (Angela Davis comes to mind), but they were certainly in the minority. Their appeals went largely unnoticed by the overall public.

      1. Too true, my unscientific hypothesis is that two things happened in the 80’s and 90’s that stifled dissent in the mainstream. One, the relative prosperity enjoyed by the working/middle class enabled more citizens to turn their backs on the lower classes as they moved farther away from them in socioeconomic status (or at least, so they thought). The stock market bubble was a big contributor to this feeling of prosperity and overall feeling that Americans deserved to be comfortable, both materially and existentially. Realities that intruded on this self-delusion were not welcome thus the rise of the corporate media/entertainment complex to help us “escape” and desensitize.

        Second, I think the people, especially in the 80’s were shocked into submission by the violence of the 60’s and 70’s. This was a country that watched it’s POTUS get taken out by a precision head shot, MLK assassinated, and Malcolm X taken out execution style. Kent State, soldiers returning home with PTSD from Nam, Black Panthers killed and imprisoned, COINTELPRO. The state “flooded the zone” with crack in the inner cities to finish off the black/brown power movements. The rest of the people just wanted to be comfortably numb and the corporations delivered with crappy apolitical music, movies, GMO food and the rise of celeb voyeurism culture. Trauma-based control/conditioning is very familiar to the state. Bread and circus for the millennials.

        Feel free to refute me on any of these points. I admit I could be way off base on this.

        1. I believe you make a very good analysis. Your explanations are as good as any I could come up with. Going off subject the subject a little, I was just thinking about how you said that Barack Obama as a candidate and President, whose loyalties like all major politicians are with the wealthy corporate elite, dampened activism and criticism from the Left. One of my major influences, Mumia Abu Jamal has said the same thing. While there is undoubtedly some truth to that, I’m not entirely sold on it because of the fact that one of the biggest pushes against the establishment to occur in decades (aside from the massive Anti-War demonstrations against invading Iraq in 2003), the “Occupy Wall Street” Movement, came to fruition under his watch. True, it didn’t directly challenge Obama per se, but actually did something Wall Street oligarchs have never had to deal with before: those activists, instead of being distracted by Wall Street’s government cronies, followed the money trail and went to the root of the problem. They went to the place where politicians receive their orders, the finance Capitol of Wall St. Just something to ponder lol.

          1. I’m glad you brought up Occupy. I agree with you that they have been perhaps the only collective movement in recent memory to strike fear in the heart of the corporate-capitalists. It was a brilliant idea to camp in Zucotti Park in the belly of the beast. But here’s where the state allowed protestors just enough rope to hang them and Obama’s DOJ/FBI was instrumental in green-lighting the brutal crackdowns from Zucotti to Chicago to Oakland. I think this is a state that also wanted to calibrate the public’s tolerance for repressive measures against it’s fellow citizens and use some of the fancy toys their homeland security money was buying. I’m not trying to minimize the impact of Occupy in any way and I fully respect their efforts. I just think the state was one step ahead of them. But the mistakes that were made can easily become lessons learned when Occupy or a similar movement rises from the ashes. It’s going to take multiple movements joining together and linking arms in solidarity to reach the tipping points needed as well as Americans understanding this is a global struggle.

            I did an analysis on some of these points in a recent post if you have the time to check it out…http://deconstructingmyths.com/2014/04/14/the-imperial-city/

            I really enjoy our dialogues.

            1. On no we are in complete agreement over the many mistakes that the occupy people made for sure. Unfortunately it was arguably the most organized the anti-capitalists have been in recent memory. And it seemed to come rather unexpectedly.

    1. Hell yea. I’ve been reading about the true American Revolutionary Movements of the 1960s a lot lately, such as the vanguard of the Left – the Black Panther Party – and the anti-war Movemet which was way bigger than just opposing the war on Vietnam; it was a movement against Imperialism and all of its manifestations. How to spark the Revolutionary fire that burned in the minds and hearts of so many back then, especially since we live in a time where things are certainly just as repressive as they were then?!

      1. You know, I think things are even more repressive than back then. And the truth is, that generation is still very much around, with the same kind of demographic power it’s always had: I think its white members sold out.

        1. Yes, and unfortunately too much of the spirit of protest is directed through counterrevolutionary groups like the so-called “tea party”, which in reality are being so mislead and duped by the wealthiest of the wealthy that they do their bidding for them.

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