The family of Ramarley Graham has been seeking justice since the 2012 slaying of the 18-year-old at the hands of NYPD officer, Richard Haste. Another blow was delivered to the family on Tuesday (Mar. 8) when federal prosecutors decided not to convene a grand jury against Haste in a civil rights investigation.
The office of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, issued the following statement regarding the case:
After conducting a thorough and independent investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has determined that there is insufficient evidence to meet the high burden of proof required for a federal criminal civil rights prosecution. To prove a violation of the federal criminal civil rights statute, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a law enforcement officer willfully deprived an individual of a constitutional right, meaning that the officer acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids. This is the highest standard of intent imposed by law, and is different from and higher than the intent standard under the relevant state statutes. Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation.
The parents of Graham, mother Constance Malcolm and father Franclot Graham, have been in a tireless battle to work with Bharara and the Justice Department to launch the violation probe against Haste and the NYPD.
The parents, who met with Bharara ahead of his decision not to move forward, told reporters that they will focus their energy on getting Haste removed from the force.