The New York police officer who shot Ramarley Graham in the bathroom of his own home will not face federal charges, according to media reports.
NBC New York reported federal prosecutors declined to press charges against New York Police Department officer Richard Haste. Haste shot Graham during an illegal drug raid. He claimed Graham was going for a gun, although no weapon was found. The police officers entered the house even though they did not possess a search warrant.
The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office said there wasn’t enough evidence to indict Haste.
“There is insufficient evidence to meet the high burden of proof required for a federal criminal civil rights prosecution,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement. “Accordingly, this Office’s investigation into Mr. Graham’s death has been closed.”
Haste has also beaten state charges. He was indicted by a New York state prosecutor on manslaughter charges, but a judge dismissed the case because the grand jury was given incorrect instructions. A second grand jury declined to indict Haste, according to NBC New York.
Since the shooting, Haste has been stripped of his gun and badge and assigned to NYPD’s fleet division. However, he has continued to receive raises mandated by his union contract.
Stuart London, an attorney representing Haste, said his client was glad the case was over.
“He’s gratified that the federal government has properly determined that there were no civil rights violations,” said London. “There never were any winners in this case because there was a loss of life.”
Graham was killed in 2012. His mother, Constance Malcolm, has been fighting since then to try to get him justice.
“It’s been four years, and to wait four years and get this decision, it’s like a slap in the face,” said Malcolm in a New York Daily News story.
Graham’s father, Frank Graham, described the decision as “frustrating” and “heartbreaking,” but it would not stop the family’s fight against injustice. The Graham family have become activists against police violence. NBC New York reported that last month they held an overnight protest in front of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.
“We’ll just move onto the next fight — which is firing the officers [involved] immediately,” said Graham in a New York Daily News story.
The Graham family received a $3.9 million settlement from New York City for their son’s death.