NYPD Killing Of Unarmed Teen over Marijuana: An Ugly Shooting Grows Uglier

NYPD Killing Of Unarmed Teen over Marijuana: An Ugly Shooting Grows Uglier

2 Cops suspended; Grand jury to investigate shooting to determine if officers should face criminal charges

NEW YORK, NY — In the wake of Thursday’s slaying of an unarmed teen by NYPD, discrepancies cloud accounts of the shooting which left 18 year old Ramarley Graham dead on the bathroom floor of his Bronx home. Gunned down in front of his grandmother, the only sign of any criminal wrongdoing on his part was a small baggie of marijuana floating in the toilet.

Ramarley Graham, 18, was shot and killed by NYPD narcotics officers in the bathroom of his Bronx home Thursday. (image/Myspace)

Ramarley Graham, 18, was shot and killed by NYPD narcotics officers in the bathroom of his Bronx home Thursday. (image/Myspace)

Initial accounts from officers was that Graham ran from police when they approached him on White Plains Road. Chased into his home, he was said to have struggled with an officer who fired a shot, hitting the 18 year old in the chest.  But as the investigation continues, some crucial points in the account are being questioned.

Most notably, Graham’s grandmother, Patricia Hartley could prove to be a crucial eyewitness to the shooting. Hartley, 58, was in the home with her 6 year old grandson when Graham entered, followed by police officers.  She ran behind the cops as they chased Graham into the bathroom, and said that police threw her to the ground and stuck a gun in her face moments after the fatal gunshot was fired.

Little is known of precisely what Ms. Hartley saw of the incident, but her treatment by the police in the hours after her grandson was killed could become a sticking point in the investigation.

Hartley, although at best a witness to the slaying, was taken by NYPD to the Bronx precinct stationhouse and kept away from family, friends and a lawyer, and was held for over seven hours.

During that time, Ms. Hartley was forced to give a statement about what happened. “She gave it against her will,” said Carlton Berkley, a family friend and retired NYPD officer.  “She didn’t want to speak to the police.”

The grieving grandmother was also denied access to her heart medication, said Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (D-Bronx), who helped win her release from the 47th Precinct stationhouse.

“I asked the district attorney a simple question: ‘Is this woman being held against her will?’ ” Stevenson said Saturday. “Within 10 minutes, she was released.”

Steven Reed, a spokesman for Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson, said Ms. Hartley “made no complaint” to an assistant district attorney who was at the police station.

“If the nature of Mrs. Hartley’s complaint is true, it would be highly insensitive,” said Reed.  “Nobody should be forced to give a statement, let alone someone who had just lost a grandson in the way that Mrs. Hartley did.”

At a press conference Friday, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said he was unaware of any problems regarding Ms. Hartley’s treatment or if she had faced overly aggressive questioning.

“Obviously, it is a very, very traumatic situation for the grandmother,” Kelly said. “She was present when this happened, and she certainly should have been shown a sensitivity to that issue. I would hope that she was. If not — I didn’t hear about that complaint — but if that’s the case, we’ll certainly investigate.”

“We’re obviously trying to get the facts,” Commissioner Kelly said. “A young man’s life was taken. … It’s the worst thing that can happen to a parent – to lose a child.”

Asked about the initial report of a struggle, Kelly said the account of the shooting was revised after investigators interviewed the second officer and the grandmother, but stopped short of declaring the shooting unjustified, saying: “At this juncture, we see an unarmed person being shot. That always concerns us.”

The New York Police Department is investigating the death, and have stripped Officer Richard Haste, who fired the fatal bullet, of his gun and placed him on “restrictive duty” pending the investigation.  His supervisor, Sargent Scott Morris, who was in a stairwell between the first and second floors of the home when the fatal shot was fired,  has also been placed on restrictive duty.

A grand jury is expected to investigate the shooting to determine if the officers should face criminal charges.

The scene outside Graham’s home on Friday was tense.  As the police re-entered the three-family house to execute a search warrant, one bystander on the street yelled, “You killed him because he smoked weed!” Later, dozens of people began shouting toward the officers inside. “Murderers!” many yelled.



  • Grenwall

    This is fucked up.



  • http://www.facebook.com/dallas.wiebelhaus Dallas Wiebelhaus

    Sounds like the NYPD are tried and true domestic terrorists.

  • Visarga

    I feel safe now.

  • http://www.captainanonymous.com/ Captain Anonymous

    40+ years and we’re still WINNING the war on drugs!

  • http://www.facebook.com/carefoot Nick Carefoot

    Drug prohibition is a frivolous waste of criminal justice resources, tax payers money and human lives.  The history of marijuana prohibition is yellow journalism (not you TDC :P) and racism.  

  • fuckdapolice

    fuck the police

  • silent evolution

    decrimination inclination giving up ganja for cancer is one way to look at things these strange and serious times..but if you take the time to really look at whats going on it would seem to be corrupt and for nothing else but court documents.over the years it has been proven that this remnant seed called marijuna,canibus,ganja,ect does not claim lives other than this way as seen.to shoot to kill is a case in its own and he was unarmed well that the psycological prejuctice the cops proven to upkeep in the minds or their creed.its crazy how in this nation,concoction of chemicals is not enough to slay lives that they have to go out there and so called police the man made problems this way…ganja is life the only reason for all their drastic counter actions…babylon will fall

  • Witcherald

    Decorum, and the powers that be…the regulation impotence, prevent me from commenting fully, honestly, or with appropriate passion.  Killed that boy, before his loving grandmother?  HUMMMM>One will simply sit back, pray, and KNOW THAT the four winds and the truth of karma will prevail, and the offending murderer will be brought to justice; lies will be righted; and the innocent will be pardoned!  Fuck those lying, murdering, war-ing, motherfuckers.  FUCK EM!!!

  • DrWeed

     I think first degree murder should be charged on him and his supervisor. Also all the NYPD should have mandatory training on how and when to use their firearms.



  • mr.bullock

    the nypd is no differant from the las vegas metro police dept they also have a history of shooting unarmed suspects many who are minorities the most recent two were an unarmed veteran the other a teenager in the  same senario as in newyork unarmed in the bathroom they now owe that family 1.5 million what ever happened to shooting a person in the arm or leg to subdue a suspect all this shoot to kill is rediculous before the even know the full story pop,pop, pop and they get off in my opinion most police agencies are just like the gangbangers whether youre a cop or a cashier your life is no more important then the next person and they should be held accountable for every action they put forth

  • http://www.facebook.com/dene.jones Dene’ Jones

    MURDER of an unarmed child!!! over marijuana???  THIS IS WRONG and I hope this cop goes to prison and gets ass raped

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shelly-Ulitchney/1493269464 Shelly Ulitchney

    yeah do ya all remember what happened to shem? killed on his front stoop for asking a man to get off of his stoop he had no idea it was an undercover police officer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1264844630 Jimmy AndLisa Francis

    i think the next president needs to look at our justice system, it has needed a complete overhaul for decades!! and once again this proves my point that cops are no different than any of us….the only difference is we arm these bastards!!

  • Mrbhappy420

    Is this not why your messed up gun toting pigs were given tasers? So they could legally shoot unarmed black men without fear of actually killing them but still feeling like the tough guy. This prick obviously didnt get the memo. No single life should be lost over a bud from a naturally occuring medicinal plant, yet your drug policy literally murders tens of thousands of people each year. Bet you’re proud to be from the grand ole u s of a.

  • Anonymous

    It’s this simple: If the police had observed the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment instead of kicking the door in to the apartment, Ramarley Graham would be alive today. This is an open and shut case of civil liability for the City of New York for violation of civil rights. I am troubled that most news outlets aren’t asking why the police did not get a warrant to enter the premises and instead chose to kick the door in. Instead they focus on teh fact that the kid didn’t have a gun thereby assuming the entry was no problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659717857 Julian Pursell

    Murderers. The lawmakers: Genocide. Hang ‘em high.

  • Jaycomo06

    this man  ran from the cops and the officer did what he was trained to do…end of story! It has nothing to do with race or anything

    • Myworldofpain2003

      Didn’t know executing ppl was in the training. Our bad, everyone can go home guys. They are trained to kill unarmed ppl that smoke weed. I sure do feel foolish for making such a fuss. BTW if you didn’t catch it. That would be sarcasm.

  • Mjjoan 123

    typical of the police shoot first ask questions later. over a “small” amount of weed , was it worth it? and then to treat the grandmother like they did is an abomination. What is wrong with the police these days? I think they watch too much tv and want to be like the tv cops, huh guess they can’t distinguish between real and tv garbage.

  • DJSundayTowers


     3/19/2012 11:45:19 AM


    Reading all these stories of
    police injustice is really disturbing. Inasmuch as I do not believe in an eye
    for an eye and tooth for tooth retaliation, I am afraid that those who have
    backed up this type of behavior, law makers and their backup society will be
    rebelled against in the near future. Let me state for a fact, Marijuana does
    not kill anyone and that the only things connected to Marijuana that is killing
    people is not Marijuana, but the law enforcement community that is backup by
    the Federal Gov. the pulpit and ant-drug organizations. I can not say enough,
    but stop this nonsense before my Father in heaven rebels against humanity. Do
    you want more earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis,  the eruptions of
    volcanoes, or would you prefer the intensity of the Sun in fire falling from
    the skies. This is not a threat, but a fact that permeated our past
    civilizations. I pray everyday that people will come to their senses and stop
    this stipidy of frivolous laws that murder and divide the land of the free.

    Tony aka DJ Sunday Towers.

  • Stum

    I say it every day…….FUCK THE LAW!!!!!!
    I hope they burn for what they did!

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  • Ron

    The world is a much safer place now that his dime bag is in the toilet, his blood is on their hands, and now that his body is in the ground.

    If you disagree with this statement, Do something about it

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