As New Yorkers resist the Trump administration’s racist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, and other discriminatory actions, it’s more urgent now than ever for New York’s elected and public officials to take action to protect our communities. We saw some of that in Albany this week with the State Assembly passing criminal justice reform legislation, even as action is still needed in NYC to end broken windows policing and pass the Right to Know Act.
In the national conversation about police violence, the name Ramarley Graham has been far less present than Mike Brown’s, Eric Garner’s, Freddie Gray’s, or Sandra Bland’s. This may be because Black Lives Matter was not yet a national movement when eighteen-year-old Graham was fatally shot in February 2012 by an NYPD officer. In fact, it was just weeks before Trayvon Martin’s death brought the issues of police brutality and institutionalized racism to widespread national attention.