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.
Eighteen-year-old unarmed Ramarley Graham was shot and killed in front of his grandmother and younger brother. Five years later Graham’s mother, Constance Malcolm, is doing everything in her power to get justice for her son.
Police officers chased Graham into his home without a warrant and violated protocol repeatedly. Fast-forward to April 12, 2017—on this day Graham would have turned 24.
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.