For the third time in a week, an NYPD officer has shot and killed a suspect. Yesterday an unidentified officer killed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham with a single bullet to the chest. The officer, a member of the narcotics unit, had chased Graham into his home, seen him flush something down a toilet and reportedly saw him make "furtive" movements, apparently prompting the cop to fire. Graham—who lived with his mother, grandmother and 6-year-old brother—was immediately mourned by family and neighbors. "Nobody deserves to get shot like that, in your own house," his bereaved mother, Constance Malcolm, cried to reporters.
The shooting occurred after 3 p.m. at East 229th street in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, when police approached Graham after arresting two alleged drug dealers. According to one law-enforcement source Graham had "eight prior arrests, including burglary, robbery, dealing marijuana and other offenses." Reportedly a small amount of marijuana (the NYPD's favorite drug) was found in Graham's toilet. "Everybody’s kids get into trouble. He smoked a little weed, but you know, like all the little, young kids does," his mother explained last night. "And that’s what he had on him when they were chasing him."
After being shot, Graham was rushed to Montefiore Hospital and pronounced dead. According to police spokesman Paul Browne, the 30-year-old officer who shot the young man joined the force in July 2008 and has not been involved in any prior shootings. Browne said investigators were interviewing potential witnesses and the shooting remained under investigation. Not that that will bring Constance Malcolm's son back. "In the bathroom they shot him. My 6-year-old son was there and saw everything," Malcolm told reporters. "I’m going to get justice."