April 12, 1993
February 12, 2012
Age at Death:
Ramarley Graham was born to Constance Malcolm and Franclot Graham in The Bronx, New York. At the time of his death he was a student at the Young Scholars Academy of The Bronx where he aspired to travel the world and become a veterinarian.
Mr. Graham was spotted by NYPD officers from the Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit as he left a bodega around 3pm. The officers alleged that they witnessed Mr. Graham adjusting a gun at his waistband. The officers began to follow him as he left the bodega and went into an apartment building, reporting over their radio that they saw the "butt of a gun" on the teen. No gun was recovered. The officers claimed that they approached Mr. Graham when he left the building, identifying themselves as police officers and telling him not to move. The officers said Mr. Graham started to run from them. The 18-year-old was in possession of marijuana when the officer tried to stop him on the street. Mr. Graham fled to his grandmother’s home and went into the bathroom to flush the marijuana. The officer forced his way into the building, kicked down the front door and then broke down the bathroom where he shot Mr. Graham to death. The officer could be seen on surveillance cameras smiling and laughing with the responding officers and detectives—the same men who would later testify they had told the officer that Mr. Graham had a gun. The officer claimed to believe Mr. Graham had been reaching for a gun in his waistband, but no weapon was recovered.
Was justice served?
No. In 2012, a grand jury voted to indict the officer on manslaughter charges, but the indictment was tossed out due to a prosecutorial mistake. On the day the judge dismissed the charges, rows of NYPD officer lined the courthouse steps and applauded the officer as he exited. The blue salute took place in front of Mr. Graham's family. A second grand jury declined to indict the officer, allowing him to walk free. The city of New York settled a civil suit, paying the family $3.9 million in 2015, but The NYPD Firearms Discharge Review Board found the shooting to be within department guidelines. In 2017, an internal NYPD investigation explored whether the shooting officer used "poor tactics" leading up to the shooting. The investigation led to a determination of fault on the part of the shooting officer and he ultimately resigned from the NYPD rather than allow himself to be terminated.