Monday, March 5, 2012

Ramarley Graham's Family Accused NYPD of Harassment Before Shooting

Ramarley Graham's Family Accused NYPD of Harassment Before Shooting

Ramarley Graham, right, threw a party for Chrystal Blake, left, his English teacher at Young Scholars Academy, in 2009. Graham was shot by police in his home Feb. 2, 2012. (Felicia Barnes)

HARLEM — The family of Ramarley Graham had been advised to move from Harlem to the Bronx by community leaders who feared they had become the target of an NYPD harassment campaign.

The advice was given just a couple of months before Graham was shot dead in his bathroom by an officer.

On July 25, 2010, a police cruiser pulled up outside the Harlem home of Ramarley Graham's father, Franclot Graham, who lived with Ramarley's stepmother, four brothers, and grandmother at 131st Street. Ramarley, who was not present, lived in the Bronx with his mother, Constance Malcolm.

The boys' grandmother tried to usher the teens inside. Then all hell broke loose.

The teens said they were beaten, maced and knocked unconscious, according to a civil lawsuit filed against the the city and officers from the 32nd precinct. Officers used batons and mace to enter their apartment without a warrant, they claimed.

The Harlem community alleged that the incident was part of a pattern of harassment against the family and held a meeting at the Nation of Islam's No. 7 Mosque to address the issue.

"My suggestion to them was to move out of Harlem to the Bronx," said Royce Russell, the attorney representing the three men in the civil suit. "I gave them that suggestion four months ago — before Ramarley Graham was killed."

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