No Charges in Unarmed Teen’s Death Shows Need for Police Accountability

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
March 9, 2016 10:15 am

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The Justice Department announced yesterday that it would not bring charges over the death of Ramarley Graham, an unarmed teenager who was shot and killed by an NYPD officer in his Bronx home while his grandmother was present four years ago. The Justice Department began its investigation after a Bronx grand jury failed to indict the officer involved in Ramarley Graham’s death. An earlier grand jury had indicted the officer on manslaughter charges, but a judge dismissed the case on a legal technicality. The officer remains employed by the NYPD.

The following statement can be attributed to NYCLU Executive Director, Donna Lieberman:

“We, like many New Yorkers, are deeply disappointed that the Justice Department will not bring charges in the death of Ramarley Graham. How can New Yorkers have faith in a criminal justice system that repeatedly fails to hold law enforcement accountable?

“Like Ramarley’s family, too many New Yorkers have suffered the unspeakable pain of losing a child to needless violence at the hands of the NYPD and our city’s failed broken windows policing strategy.

“Ramarley deserves justice. The NYPD must hold those involved in his death accountable. And New Yorkers deserve a criminal justice system they can trust. When people die at the hands of the police, a special prosecutor should investigate the case to avoid conflicts of interest and grand jury proceedings should not remain shrouded in secrecy. And New York City Council should pass the Right to Know Act, so everyday police encounters become safer and more transparent. It’s time for New York’s police to serve and protect all communities.”

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