Another cop gets away with killing a kid. "We're here to demand the restoration of constitutional rights for people of color!"
This week, a Bronx grand jury decided that NYPD officer Richard Haste won't be charged with manslaughter in the February 2012 shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham. The jury decided there wasn't enough evidence to re-indict the after a judge threw out that indictment in May, citing a mistake by the assistant district attorney.
This latest outrage is especially insulting as it comes so close on the heels of George Zimmerman's acquittal for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Homeless people know all too well what happens in an environment where the police believe they're above the all, and can harm certain kinds of people with impunity, and Picture the Homeless
See below for a picture of PTH civil rights leader and board member Jean Rice, speaking at Thursday's emergency rally (The pull quote? "We're here to demand the restoration of constitutional rights for people of color!"). And here's an excerpt from an essay Jean wrote almost exactly a year ago, on August 27 2012, entitled "Tribute to Ramarley: Gone But Not Forgotten."
"As many of you know, Ramarley Graham was an unarmed black teen killed by the NYPD. What happened to him has happened to too many and makes even more urgent the need to move this racist criminal justice system one step closer to the closure. Ramarley’s family is entitled to it and the dictates of justice demand it! Early last month, The People’s Justice Coalition honored Picture the Homeless with request that our tactical team help coordinate and manage the flow of people mobilized to demand justice for Ramarley.
From the South Bronx to Sanford, Florida America’s status quo has sought through vigilante type wanton murder to instill fear and intimidation in communities of color throughout the nation. So on this day these communities of the oppressed, these communities of the exploited, came together across race and class barriers to say that we are all Ramarley!
In the 73 years of my life I have never witnessed a more diverse group of people. We assembled at the Ramarley home and after many inspirational and passionate speeches; we marched in an orderly manner to the police precinct where the ill-trained murderer, Officer Hastings was employed. Speakers voiced their outrage in front of this stationhouse as several members of the New York Police Department looked on. I believe the manner in which my compadres Arvanetta Henry, Pedro Cabrera, Andres Perez, and I conducted ourselves did Picture the Homeless proud. Our allies were extremely impressed by the silent hand signals we employed. Our practice and experience showed through in how we can almost anticipate each other. I commend my Picture the Homeless sister and brothers for the discipline they displayed in this highly charged atmosphere. It is difficult to stay within our roles as security, when our hearts and our souls cry out to vent our sorrow, our anger, and our despair, over this tragic event.
THANK YOU to our friends at VOCAL-NY for this great photo!