White cop who killed unarmed black teen insists he thought teen had a gun

By Forrest Hanson For Dailymail.com and Associated Press

Officer Richard Haste has given his first public account of when he shot and killed Ramarley Graham, pictured, in 2012A white police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager to death in the bathroom of his New York City apartment says the last thing he wanted to do was pull the trigger.

Officer Richard Haste recounted the shooting for the first time publicly Friday afternoon at his departmental disciplinary trial.

He said he was afraid he was going to be killed because he believed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham had a gun and was reaching for it in 2012.

The officer’s lawyers had said he shot Graham because he mistakenly believed he had a gun.

Haste initially faced a criminal manslaughter charge, but the case was dismissed because of a procedural error.

A new grand jury refused to indict.

Police department attorneys say he should be fired.

Haste said he was afraid he was going to be killed because he believed Graham, 18, had a gun and was reaching for it

An administrative judge hearing the case will recommend a punishment to the police commissioner.

In March 2016, federal prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges against Haste.

Haste was initially indicted in the Bronx on a state manslaughter charge, but a judge dismissed the case after determining that prosecutors improperly instructed grand jurors.

A new grand jury declined to re-indict the officer.

After the shooting, Haste was stripped of his badge and gun and assigned to the department’s fleet services division.

Constance Malcolm, center, is the mother of the deceased Ramarley. She is surrounded by political officials and civil rights activists outside police HQ on January 19 during the trial

Haste was initially indicted in the Bronx on a state manslaughter charge, but a judge dismissed the case after determining that prosecutors improperly instructed grand jurors

Police first encountered Graham when they spotted him and two other people walking into a Bronx bodega in the afternoon of February 2, 2012

Police first encountered Graham when they spotted him and two other people walking into a Bronx bodega in the afternoon of February 2, 2012 and then immediately walking out.

The officers, who were conducting a street narcotics investigation, said they saw Graham adjusting his waistband and told fellow officers they believed he had a gun.

Police followed him to his Bronx home.

The officers, who were conducting a street narcotics investigation, said they saw Graham adjusting his waistband and told fellow officers they believed he had a gun

   

Richard Haste made his way into the home and forced his way into a bathroom and shot Graham once. Pictured: Constance Malcolm with Al Sharpton

Richard Haste made his way into the home and forced his way into a bathroom and shot Graham once.

Haste said he fired his weapon because he thought he was going to get shot.

No weapons were found in the apartment.

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