29 days ago, the Justice Committee supported Constance Malcolm and Franclot Graham - Ramarley Graham’s parents – as they delivered over 33,000 signed petitions to the door of the Department of Justice demanding a full federal investigation into their son’s killing by NYPD officers. At that time, we gave U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara 30 days to meet with Ramarley’s family.
Yesterday, we accompanied Ramarley’s family, their attorneys and other advocates to meet with Mr. Bharara and members of his office. We were able to confirm that the DOJ has launched a full investigation into Ramarley’s case. We are encouraged by this development, but fight for justice is far from over.
The DOJ must convene a grand jury to indict Richard Haste and all officers involved in Ramarley’s killing on federal civil rights charges. On Feb. 2, 2012, NYPD officers busted into Ramarley’s home without a warrant or probable cause and shot and killed him in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother. There is amble evidence for an indictment and a conviction. This is an open and shut case.
Since Ramarley’s death two years ago, so many have unjustly lost their lives to police violence –Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford and John Crawford are just a few of the most recent cases. This violence will continue as long as police officers are allowed to kill with impunity. The convening of a federal grand jury will not only be a step towards justice for Ramarley's family, it will send a message that the lives of Black and brown youth matter and that police brutality will not be tolerated any longer.