The parents of a Bronx teen who was shot and killed by police in February gave an exclusive with NY1's Dean Meminger on Thursday about the suffering they are going through.
The bathroom where unarmed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot and killed by NYPD officer Richard Haste serves as a constant reminder to his mother, Constance Malcolm, of the nightmare she is living.
"Every day you go in there and constantly reminds you of what happened," Constance said. "You have to use that bathroom and you have to try to imagine what happened in there. Especially my son Janar when he goes in there. He's six but he is 21. He knows what's going on. Every day he asks Mommy, 'Why did they kill Ramarley? Ramarley didn't do anything.'"
The six-year-old and Ramarley's grandmother were in the apartment when officers ran in looking for the teen. Cops said they thought he was carrying a gun.
On Wednesday, Officer Richard Haste was arraigned on first and second-degree manslaughter charges. Speaking just feet from where their son was killed, Graham's parents said the charges should be more severe.
"Murder charges," said Ramarley's father, Franclot. "Plus, the tape shows officers penetrating the house more than once and only one person is being charged."
Though there is surveillance video of the officers running into the house, the arraignment was the first time Graham's parents really saw the officer who pulled the trigger.
"I didn't have an idea of what he really looked like," Franclot said. "It was hard for me to look at the person who took Ramarley from us. It was so emotional. I couldn't control it."
Adding to their pain and anger, officers and union members clapped and cheered as Officer Haste left the court house wednesday.
"What message are you sending to the public?" Constance said. "The police could kill you, beat you and they could get away with it. We got the PBA backing us so we could do anything. Kelly need to get his people on a leash. They are very much out of control. "
The police union said the shooting is tragic but said the officer fired his gun because he truly thought the teen was about to kill him. That turned out not to be the case.