On Saturday it will be a year since the NYPD kicked open the door at 749 East 229th Street. Moments later, 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was gunned down by NYPD officer Richard Haste, a member of the force’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit, better known as SNEU.
The controversial shooting still has more questions than answers. On Thursday afternoon, Graham’s parents — Constance Malcolm and Frank Graham — came to PIX 11 News to speak exclusively about the past year, “It’s a struggle everyday. You know it’s hard. It seems like just yesterday. I still cry a lot,” said Malcolm.
Moments later, she conveyed the challenges she has at times when looking out the windows of her home, “I look outside looking for my son, and he’s not there and it’s like, my son should be here. This should have never happened. This is a situation that could have turned out differently if just this one person waited. Waited for the proper procedure,” said Malcolm.
Ever since the afternoon of Feb 2, 2012, life has been a challenge — emotionally and judicially — for Malcolm and Graham. During the hour-long meeting about their 18-year old son, they shared their stories regarding the first time they watched the infamous surveillance video, “There goes my baby taking his few last steps,” said Graham.
Malcolm quickly followed with, “It angers me, because I see Ramarley walking in and the story that they told wasn’t the same thing as you saw on the tape.”
The story that Commissioner Ray Kelly and the NYPD originally put out was that a struggle led to Graham’s death. They backpedaled once the video emerged, and now Haste is facing a spring trial along with 1st and 2nd degree manslaughter charges. Although it will not happen, Malcolm and Graham would like to ask Haste one question, “Why did he do it?”
The two admit they still don’t trust the NYPD, adding perhaps someday they will. That said, they do know that they have the support of some of the city’s finest who have reached out to them privately. Frank will never forget one run-in with a cop on 125th Street in Harlem, “He showed me the badge first, he says, not to scare you, keep doing what you guys are doing because what happened to your son was wrong. It was wrong. So you keep fighting and do what do to get justice for your son.”
The parents along with their attorney in the civil case, Jeff Emdin, expect the Bronx DA establish opening arguments of a trial sometime in May.
On Friday, a 105-page summons and complaint will be filed by the family at Bronx Supreme Court.
Malcolm is confident that ultimately justice will be served.