Department trial wraps up for officer who shot teen
Closing arguments were delivered Monday in the department trial of the NYPD officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Ramarley Graham in 2012.
Graham's mother, Constance Malcolm, walked with supporters into police headquarters for the final day of the trial that will decide whether Officer Richard Haste keeps his job.
As News 12 has reported, Haste took the stand Friday and recounted the events that led him to shoot Graham in the bathroom of his home in 2012. He testified that he felt anxiety and fear before encountering Graham in the hallway. Haste's lawyer, Stuart London, said that the defendant was remorseful for the tragic end to the shooting, but that his actions were justified. The NYPD found that the shooting was within the department's guidelines, but that Haste did not follow proper tactical procedures.
During closing arguments, the prosecution for the NYPD reminded the court of those procedural errors that Haste made while pursuing Graham, who he believed had a gun. Among those was that Haste was not trained for the specialized narcotics force, that he didn't call for backup and that, as seen in surveillance video, he entered Graham's home by breaking down the back door.
Haste's lawyer in his closing remarks maintained that the officer is being used as a scapegoat, and that he recommends retraining instead of termination.
An NYPD judge has up to 90 days to make a recommendation, but it will ultimately be up to Police Commissioner James O'Neill to make a decision on whether Haste remains with the rank and file.
The Graham family says they want Haste fired.