Leona Virgo, the sister of Ramarley Graham, gave a passionate message to the people of New York City about her brother Ramarley Graham. Speaking at a vigil for her deceased brother, she explained that the African American youth was killed by police for nothing other than flushing marijuana down the toilet.
Graham, 18, was shot and killed by police in his grandmother’s bathroom, after NYPD officers busted down their door without a warrant.
Graham was unarmed but had attempted to flush a small stash of marijuana down the toilet when police barged in. Suspecting that he had a weapon, officer opened fire on the Bronx teen.
Last Friday, the city settled on the figure of $3.9 million for the 2012 killing, bringing the federal lawsuit to a close.
“This was a tragic case,” New York Law Department spokesman Nicholas Paolucci said.
“After evaluating all the facts, and consulting with key stakeholders such as the NYPD,” Paolucci continued, “it was determined that settling the matter was in the best interest of the city.”
The family has not yet issued any official statement on the settlement agreement, but Attorney Royce Russell says that he expects them to release a statement Monday.
Manhattan federal prosecutors say they will continue to conduct an investigation into civil rights charges that might be brought against the NYPD.
Officer Richard Haste claimed that he had no choice but to fire, even though no weapons were found in the apartment. But that justification didn’t go over well with the prosecutor, who indicted him on manslaughter charges in the summer of 2012.
Still, prosecutors improperly instructed grand jurors, regarding testimony from officers who had radioed Haste in advance, telling them that they thought Graham had a pistol. The first grand jury let him walk, and a second grand jury declined to re-indict.
The Graham agreement comes as one in a series of high-profile settlements and civil rights cases against the NYPD. Recently it was said that there would be an attempt to negotiate a $75 million civil rights claim for the killing of Eric Garner.
The real question is: when are the citizens of New York going to finally say they have had enough of these killer cops running up their taxes to pay families of all the innocent people they keep killing?
(Article by Moreh B.D.K.; image via Andrew Burton/Getty Images North America)