New York, NY – On August 17, 2017, the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council held a press conference to announce their legal filing of an amicus brief urging the court to reject the NYPD’s concealment of records regarding the killing of Ramarley Graham. Unarmed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot and killed in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother by NYPD Officer Richard Haste in 2012.
“Ramarley Graham’s family deserves to understand the circumstances of Ramarley’s death,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “The family has been seeking justice and transparency for the last five years, since Ramarley was killed by NYPD Officer Haste in 2012. That’s why the Progressive Caucus has filed a legal amicus brief supporting the family in their continual challenges to the NYPD’s denial of information. The Progressive Caucus is committed to issues of police accountability and transparency, and building stronger relationships between the police and the communities that they serve. We hope the court considers the precedent that will be set by this case for the future of ongoing efforts to rebuild public trust in the NYPD.”
“Time after time, the NYPD continues to withhold information that would go a long way toward understanding and closure for the families of New Yorkers who were killed at the hands of the NYPD,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. “Ramarley Graham’s family has been waiting five long years for relief, so it is long past due that the NYPD provide transparency and accountability for the actions of their officers. It is time for them to do what is right and hold trials for the other officers and release the details of the case to the Graham family.”
“I wholeheartedly join my Progressive Caucus colleagues in their continued call on the NYPD to fully inform the family of Ramarley Graham and all New Yorkers regarding their investigation into Ramarley’s death,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Vice-Chair of Budget for the Progressive Caucus. “It is essential that the NYPD act in in a transparent and accountable fashion to maintain public trust.”
“For an administration that has repeated commitments to better transparency and accountability around the better policing conversation, it remains aggravating to hear these commitments, while simultaneously keeping information from Ramarley Graham’s family regarding the circumstances around his murder. It’s time that the words are backed by real-time action,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, member of the Progressive Caucus.
“The family of Ramarley Graham has suffered for too long and all they seek is justice for the death of their son. It is long overdue. We’ll continue to stand and fight with them until the culpable officers are held accountable and the family receives the closure they deserve,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, member of the Progressive Caucus.
“Transparency and accountability for charges of police misconduct are essential to ensure public trust and safety,” said Council Member Brad Lander, member of the Progressive Caucus. More than 5 years after Ramarley Graham was killed, his family still has neither transparency nor accountability: for the unlawful entry into their home, for the taking of his life, for how family members were treated by officers, for the release of information about Ramarley that violated state law. It is long past time — and the least that New York City owes Ramarley’s family and all New Yorkers.”
The family of Ramarley Graham has been seeking information on his killing for over five years, since he was killed in 2012. They have sent repeated letters and requests to the NYPD but never received a response from the City. The lack of response forced them to file an extensive Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request in order to access information that could illuminate the misconduct related to Graham’s killing.
Further lack of cooperation from the NYPD led to Graham’s family and supporters to file a lawsuit forcing the NYPD to comply with state freedom of information law by releasing the information. Yet nonetheless, the NYPD continues to fight compliance to release the information on the police activity that led to Ramarley Graham’s killing.
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