Grand Jury Decides Not to Charge Officer Who Fatally Shot Unarmed Youth in Bronx
Eighteen months after a police officer barged into a private residence and fatally shot an unarmed teenager in the bathroom of the home, the criminal case against the officer has collapsed with a grand jury’s decision to not bring charges in the case.
The decision, which was announced on Thursday morning, was met with shock from the Bronx district attorney, Robert T. Johnson, and it prompted calls for a federal civil rights investigation and an independent prosecutor. By late afternoon, the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan said it would review the evidence to “determine whether there were any violations of the federal criminal civil rights laws.”
Nonetheless, the grand jury decision stirred anger and talk of racism among supporters and relatives of the shooting victim, Ramarley Graham, 18. Mr. Graham was black; the officer, Richard Haste, is white.
Narcotics officers had become suspicious of Mr. Graham as he walked through the Wakefield section of the Bronx with two friends. Officer Haste, 31, pursued the teenager, forcing his way into the apartment where Mr. Graham lived with his grandmother. The officer confronted him in the bathroom and shot him, after he mistakenly interpreted a gesture as Mr. Graham reaching for a gun, according to the officer’s account to the grand jury.