Ramarley Graham’s Mother Accuses NYPD of Seeking to Strike Backroom Deal Allowing Other Officers Involved in Son’s Killing to Avoid Departmental Prosecution and Retire
Sergeant Scott Morris and Officer John McLoughlin were charged by NYPD in 2012, yet still no trial date has been scheduled for either
Ramarley Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, accused the NYPD of seeking a backroom deal to allow officers charged by the department in the killing of her son to retire, as a way for the department to avoid a public trial into police misconduct. The two officers, Sergeant Scott Morris and Officer John McLoughlin, were on the scene and involved in the actions that led to Graham’s killing in 2012. Sergeant Morris was the ranking officer on the scene at the family’s home when Graham was killed and failed to intervene or prevent the unlawful entry, killing or other misconduct from occurring. Officer McLoughlin was responsible for kicking down the door to the family’s apartment, precipitating Haste entering, shooting and killing Graham. After more than five years, the officers have accrued pay increases and neither has scheduled start-dates for departmental trials, despite their being charged by the NYPD in 2012.
Malcolm’s concerns were underscored by the news on Sunday that the NYPD officer who assaulted and wrongfully arrested tennis player James Blake reached a deal with the city that allowed him to avoid a public disciplinary trial, undermining any accountability efforts in the case.
“Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD must stop playing games and delaying police accountability related to the murder of my son,” said Constance Malcolm, the mother of Ramarley Graham. “For more than 5 years the NYPD has been allowed to avoid revealing the wide extent of misconduct related to the murder of my son in our home, in front of his grandmother and 6 year old brother, and the mayor has made himself part of this cover-up. The fact that trials for Sergeant Morris and Officer McLoughlin have not started or even been scheduled forces my family to believe that there is a widespread cover-up that is continuing. Based on the NYPD’s past efforts to cut a deal with Haste and the news that they cut a deal with the officer who attacked tennis player James Blake, it now looks like they’re trying to let these other officers retire with their pensions and benefits to avoid a public trial. It’s been over 5 years, and there is no excuse for it. Morris and McLoughlin’s trials must start and they should be fired - not allowed to resign or retire – along with the many other officers who engaged in misconduct related to the killing of my son.”
There were several NYPD officers who entered the family's Bronx home without a warrant, killed Graham, and engaged in misconduct and abuses of his family and other civilians. Yet after more than five years, the more than a dozen officers responsible for killing Ramarley, abusing his family and related misconduct have not been held accountable by the de Blasio administration’s NYPD. While Richard Haste was allowed to resign from the NYPD almost two months ago, the two other officers charged by the department in 2012 related to Graham’s killing – Sergeant Morris and Officer McLoughlin – have yet to have trial dates scheduled by the NYPD.
“Mayor de Blasio’s New York City is no sanctuary while this administration fails to provide accountability for the NYPD killing Ramarley Graham,” said Monifa Bandele of Communities United for Police Reform. “More than 5 years after Ramarley was killed, if the NYPD is negotiating a backroom deal with Morris and McLoughlin, it will be another betrayal of Ramarley’s family, the communities of New Yorkers supporting them, and any semblance of justice. The mayor and police commissioner must fire Morris and McLoughlin, not corruptly provide them a soft exit. They must also provide complete transparency by publicly identifying the other officers responsible for the wide-ranging misconduct related to Graham’s killing by the NYPD and disciplining them accordingly.”
After Haste resigned, it was revealed that then-Chief of Department and current Commissioner O’Neill and then-Commissioner Bratton had sought a backroom deal to allow Haste to resign in exchange for his pension to avoid a public trial. These activities were occurring as late as September, while the de Blasio administration and NYPD were telling the public that they were aggressively seeking to pursue accountability against the officer. It helps explain why over 10 months passed after the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would decline to prosecute the officer before a NYPD trial began in January 2017, despite the fact that the departmental charges had already been brought in 2012. The de Blasio administration had claimed the federal investigation was the reason for delays, even though then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara contradicted this claim.
The delays into the beginning of trials for Sergeant Morris and Officer McLoughlin appear to indicate a similar effort by the NYPD to avoid a trial, as it pursued with Haste. Morris and McLoughlin were charged in 2012 related to Graham’s killing – they were both on the scene that day. Officer McLoughlin kicked in the door to the family’s apartment, helping to lead the unlawful entry that led to Haste shooting and killing Graham. Sergeant Morris was the ranking officer on the scene who allowed the unlawful entry and subsequent killing to occur without intervening. There were multiple other officers involved in misconduct related to Graham’s killing that the de Blasio administration has refused to identify and hold accountable. Officers were involved in abusing Graham’s grandmother who witnessed the killing, undermining an investigation by removing his body 15 minutes after killing him, releasing false information about the incident, unlawfully releasing improper information about Graham to the public, and engaging in other misconduct.
Unarmed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot and killed in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother by NYPD Officer Richard Haste over five years ago. After Graham walked into his family’s Bronx home, Haste and other officers forcibly and unlawfully entered the home without a warrant, kicked down the door to the apartment, and shot and killed Graham. Richard Haste was allowed to resign from the NYPD after five years of accruing tens of thousands of dollars in increased earnings since killing Ramarley – he received over $30,000 more in 2016 than he did in the year he shot Ramarley (received over $94,000 in pay in 2016).
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.
CPR brings together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.