March 27, 2017

Statement from Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and State Senator Jamaal Bailey Regarding Resignation of Police Officer Richard Haste

Although we are pleased that Richard Haste is no longer a member of the New York City Police Department, there are several serious questions that still must be answered.

We are extremely unhappy with the entire process that allowed Officer Haste to resign rather than be held accountable for his heinous actions on that fateful day when he gunned down unarmed teenager Ramarley Graham. By now, the facts are well known - Officer Haste, aided by other police officers, shot and killed Ramarley inside his own home in front of his family. An internal Departmental trial found that Officer Haste "acted with intent to cause serious physical injury leading to the death."

There must be accountability, and while Officer Haste's resignation has allowed him to avoid owning up to the consequences of his actions, it is important to remember that there were other police officers who were involved in this situation. They too must answer for the situation that led to Ramarley's death.

The vast majority of New York City's police officers do an outstanding job, putting their lives on the line each and every day to protect our communities. Sending a loud and clear message that we do not tolerate the killing of unarmed citizens by holding these officers accountable is the very least we could do to honor the memory of Ramarley Graham.