Ramarley Graham was 18 years old when he was shot and killed by a police officer. Ramarley was unarmed. Ramarley had not committed a crime. In 2012, on the afternoon of February 2nd, NYPD cops kicked in the door to Ramarley Graham’s home, without a warrant. They murdered Constance Malcolm’s child, in the afternoon, in front of his grandmother and 6-year old brother.
It has been over two years since Ramarley died. Two years of possibility that should have belonged to him. He should still be here. His mom should have the opportunity to see her son grow into an adult, set out on his own, and live his life. Ramarley should be here planning his future. His little brother should still have his big brother around. His little brother, now 9, should not live in fear of also being murdered by the police.
Richard Haste is the cop who killed Ramarley Graham. Richard Haste is the cop who was cheered by his fellow police officers. Richard Haste is the cop who killed a teenager and still is walking the streets of New York with a gun. There has been zero accountability. His indictment was thrown out by a judge, due to a technicality. Shortly after, the Department of Justice said it would investigate the case.
Still, Ramarley’s parents and family wait. His parents have been vocal and have tried everything they can to receive justice for their son. Their message is not only for their pain and suffering, and for their slain son, but it is for the many other black sons and daughters who have been killed by cops.
This week, with the murder of Mike Brown weighing heavily on her hearts, and the images of Eric Garner being choked to death by an NYPD officer so fresh in our minds, how can any of us ignore the heartbreak that the Brown, Garner, Bell, Grant, Graham, and countless other families feel? The public, the media, and the government have looked the other way, murder after murder. We don’t even know for sure exactly how many unarmed black boys and men are killed by the police, because those in position to demand and track these numbers apparently don’t care enough.
This is not just a problem for people living in NYC. From the Bronx to Oakland to Ferguson, this is all connected. This issue requires many voices and much change. This is a call for all of us. Listen to the voices who have been tirelessly fighting for years, who have been marching, and writing, and doing the work. Sign petitions. Attend vigils. Blog, Tweet, Facebook. March. Holler. Be loud. Be seen. Be heard.
Tomorrow, August 20th at 12:00pm, please join Ramarley’s family and friends as they meet in Foley Square and march with his mother, Constance Malcolm. She will deliver a petition (over 33,000 have signed, please add your name here!) to the Department of Justice, demanding they open a full investigation into the killing of Ramarley Graham by the NYPD.
Details on the presser and march can be found here. Please watch this video of Ramarley’s mother talking about her son and the petition. Follow and support Constance on Twitter: @RiseUp4Ramarley https://twitter.com/RiseUp4Ramarley