Officer Richard Haste, the NYPD cop that shot and killed 18 year-old Ramarley Graham in his grandmother's Bronx apartment on Feb. 2, turned himself in Wednesday morning to face first and second-degree manslaughter charges.
Haste walked into a side door of Bronx Criminal Court as his attorney Stewart London addressed reporters outside saying-
"It's always difficult but he's being very strong...He understands the seriousness of these charges and he also feels for the family and understands the tragic nature, that's there's a loss of life. He's nervous but confident."
On Feb 2nd Haste and other members of the street narcotics enforcement unit followed Graham to his home from a drug-dealing hot spot after hearing on their radios the teen was observed with a gun in his waistband.
Police contend that Graham ran to his house when officers told him to stop and chased him up to a second floor bathroom. They tussled with Haste before being shot in the chest. Surveillance video showed Graham walking into his house, followed by plain clothes cops seen trying to kick down the door.
Once inside, Haste insists, he identified himself as a cop and fired at Graham point-blank in the bathroom of his house after mistakenly believing he saw a gun.
Cops found a bag of marijuana near Graham's body and suspected he was trying to flush it down the toilet. However, no weapon was found in the house.
According to London, he says his client-
“is surviving the day and we'll move forward and get ready for trial...In some ways it's a relief because now we'll get to have our say and litigate this case and we're confident that we'll be successful at the conclusion of it."
London said the defense would focus on Haste’s-
“state of mind at the time that this incident occurred…We always feel we can get a fair trial, whether by judge or jury, but we'll take it one day at a time at this point,"
It’s been four months, but finally justice has been served. Hopefully the officer will be tried to the fullest extent of the law.