NEW YORK, NY — Congressman Eliot L. Engel (NY-16) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not pursue federal civil rights charges against NYPD Officer Richard Haste in the 2012 shooting death of Ramarley Graham, a teenager from the Wakefield section of the Bronx:
“We see these tragedies too often. I first met Constance Malcolm, Ramarley’s mother, when I spoke at his funeral, and I know she will have to live with this terrible tragedy for the rest of her life. I called Ms. Malcolm this evening after DOJ’s announcement to offer my support to her and her family. As their Bronx neighbors, we owe it to them to honor Ramarley’s memory by never forgetting what his death means. An unarmed young man, a member of our community, was shot to death in his own home. He was not armed, he was not dangerous, and he wasn’t a threat to anyone.
“We should all be disappointed in what this story says about our city and our country. Thousands of brave men and women in the NYPD help keep our communities safe on a daily basis, but we can all see that what happened to Ramarley cannot be allowed to happen again. We still have much work to do.
“I believe a grand jury would have helped to move this case forward. While I am disappointed with his decision not to convene a grand jury, I appreciate that U.S. Attorney Preet Bahrara personally delivered the news to Ramarley’s family. I remain hopeful that our community can come together and continue to heal, and I will continue working with our Mayor and my colleagues in Congress to find a way to move forward.”