The family of Ramarley Graham, an unarmed black teen who was fatally shot by a police officer in his Bronx apartment in 2012, filed a FOIL request on Thursday with the NYPD, requesting a wide-ranging scope of information concerning the shooting.
The 24-page request asks for, among other things, the “underlying circumstances” of the shooting, “relevant NYPD procedures and practices” and any “communications between the NYPD and City Hall and other agencies” around the shooting.
“You talk about transparency, you talk about moving forward ... let’s start by doing this,” Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, said from the steps of City Hall on Thursday. “I deserve to know what happened to my son.”
Graham was killed in 2012 after he was chased by Officer Richard Haste and others into his Bronx apartment. He was shot as he tried to flush marijuana down a toilet with his grandmother and younger brother home at the time.
Haste was placed on modified duty.
After a series of failed grand jury actions in state court stalled the criminal case against him, and the federal investigation failed to press charges, the NYPD said they are moving forward with a departmental trial.
A spokesman from the mayor’s office said de Blasio supports the NYPD’s decision.
“The mayor has not spoken with any of the involved parties so as to avoid prejudicing the process,” spokesman Aistin Finan said. “The mayor supports Commissioner O’Neill’s decision to move forward with a department trial.”
Malcolm said all she wants at this point is for the officers involved, including Haste, to be fired.
“They should not be in our community, they should not have a job,” she said. “They committed a crime.”
Gideon Oliver, the attorney who filed the FOIL request, said the “exhaustive” filing is “designed to cast as much light as possible” into the shooting and the investigation.
“The scope of the request should make it clear this isn’t just about a so-called bad apple officer or his conduct, this is about the sort of basic police accountability that Mayor de Blasio advanced on his political platform when he was running,” Oliver said. “To the extent that further roadblocks are thrown up to releasing this information, it’s clear that ‘can’t’ means ‘won’t.’”
Oliver said if there is not a “prompt and full response from the police department and the mayor’s office,” he will take legal action.
De Blasio has said he believes Section 50-a of the state’s Civil Rights Law bars disclosure of records of police officer’s misconduct, but has said he believes it’s the right time to change that law.
Last year, a judge ruled the city must disclose the summary of any past civilian complaints against Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who placed Eric Garner in an apparent chokehold in 2014, killing him. But the city has since asked to appeal that decision.
The mayor’s office and a representative for the NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.