An NYPD officer has been charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old in his Bronx home, prosecutors announced.
Officer Richard Haste, 31, was arraigned Wednesday for the February shooting death of Ramarley Graham. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
His lawyer, Stuart London, said before the arraignment that his client was pleading not guilty.
Graham was shot to death in the bathroom of his home on East 229th Street after police chased him inside.
Security video showed Graham entering his home, and police running after him. Police at the time said officers witnessed a drug deal and pursued Graham, believing he had a gun.
They went in and found him in the second-floor bathroom, and ended up shooting him in the chest. He died shortly afterward.
Police said later that Graham was not found with a gun.
The indictment accuses Haste of acting "recklessly."
Darnett Richards, a spokeswoman for the Graham family, said earlier this week that the young man's relatives were encouraged by news of the indictment but consider it a long road.
"We're happy and still, the fight isn't over, it's just started," Richards said.
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said in a statement earlier this week that it believed the officer would be exonerated.
"We look forward to a complete review of the facts in this case which will demonstrate that this police officer believed that he was pursuing an armed felon who bolted rather than be caught with an illegal gun," PBA President Patrick Lynch said.
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