Mom of teen killed by officer angry about his resignation
The mother of an unarmed black teenager who was shot to death in his bathroom by a white NYPD officer in 2012 says she is angry that the officer has been allowed to resign.
Constance Malcolm says there's no justice for her son, Ramarley Graham, and she's appalled by how the police department and city government have treated Officer Richard Haste.
Haste was brought on departmental charges for demonstrating "poor judgment." He was accused of not taking obvious steps to defuse a fatal standoff that ended in the 2012 death of Graham inside the teen's own bathroom, as his grandmother and little brother looked on in horror. Administrative Judge Rosemarie Maldonado found on Friday that Haste should be fired from the department.
Technically, Haste had time to go over the findings before they would be presented to Police Commissioner James O'Neill, who has the final say, but Haste resigned instead. The commissioner had not yet officially ruled, but "has fully concurred with the findings and recommendations of the trial commissioner," according to a statement from the department late Sunday.
Malcom says it is another slap in the face and more agony and no justice. She says she wants to know why resignation was even an option and that Haste should not be able to get another police or government job.
Haste initially faced a criminal manslaughter charge in the death, but the case was dismissed because of a procedural error. A new grand jury declined to indict him, and federal prosecutors also declined to bring charges.
"He was exonerated by both a state and federal grand jury," said Haste's lawyer, Stuart London. "The New York City Police Department Firearms Discharge Review Board found the shooting to be justified. All of officer Haste's actions were performed in good faith. He never should have been forced to resign based on tactics alone."
In his testimony during the departmental trial, Haste, now 35, recounted how he got out of his police van during a drug probe in Graham's Bronx neighborhood and followed the teenager, suspected on police radio chatter of having a gun, into his apartment building.
After Haste and his partner broke down the door of Graham's home, the officer said he saw Graham sidestep into a bathroom, and he leaned inside to face him.
Haste testified that he yelled, "Show me your hands!" but Graham instead reached deeper into his pants and yelled obscenities.
"I thought I was about to be shot," Haste said. "I expected to be dead."
Malcolm says Haste should be in prison, and that this is the latest example of the de Blasio administration and NYPD dragging its heels in seeking justice for her son.
Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on the issue and said that nothing can take away the profound pain left after his loss, but hope that the conclusion of the difficulty process brings some measure of justice to those who loved him.
Malcolm says the case is far from over and that the two other officers involved should be fired.
At this point there is no trial set for either of them.
The family did settle a civil suit with the city for more than $3 million, but Malcom says it has been five years of agony and disrespect by the city and she is not done fighting.
Since he resigned, Haste has reportedly said he wants to meet with Malcolm.
Malcolm told a reporter she will not meet with him and nothing he could say would take away her pain.
AP Wire Services contributed to this report.