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NY legislators want probe into police shooting of unarmed Jamaican youth

Saturday, April 19, 2014    

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NEW YORK, USA (CMC) — Minority caucuses of New York State Legislature and the City Council have written to United States Attorney General Eric Holder calling for an "extensive and exhaustive" investigation into the 2012 police shooting death of an unarmed Jamaican youth.

"In the interest of seeking truth and justice, we are asking for an extensive and exhaustive investigation into the killing of Ramarley Graham," said legislators in a letter to Eric Holder.

Graham was shot by Police Officer Richard Haste on February 2, 2012, after cops stormed into the teen's Bronx house and confronted him in a bathroom, according to the New York Daily News. He was 18.

Haste said he had heard over his police radio that the teenager had a gun, but no weapon was found -- only a small bag of marijuana.

"We believe the investigation will uncover that the actions of Officer Haste violated the civil rights of Ramarley, his family and the other residents in the home," the letter states.

"It is imperative that the Department of Justice send a clear signal that the lives of black and brown minority men matter," the caucus adds.

In August, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said his office would review the case for civil rights violations after a Bronx grand jury declined to indict Haste.

On Wednesday, Bharara said the review is ongoing.

But Graham's Jamaican-born mother, 40-year-old Constance Malcolm, said she was tired of waiting, adding that more than two years have passed since her son's death.

"He was just becoming a man and figuring out what he wanted to do in life," Malcolm said. "While no federal charges will ever bring Ramarley back, justice can help provide some level of confidence in our system and the concept of right and wrong."

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