We have on the line with us Vasily Sushko. He is talking about a rather interesting case and it is also unfortunately a case that he’s covered before. That is NYPD, that is under fire for shooting an unarmed Bronx teen. And now the grand jury has given him a manslaughter charge, correct?
Yes, absolutely. This is a 4-year veteran of the force here in NYPD. His name is Richarg Haste, he is 31 years old, four years, obviously not a long time, veteran with the NYPD, somewhat a new member here, but he was actually arraigned earlier this week. He has faced manslaughter charges and he hasn’t actually spoken or addressed the judge himself, but there was statement from his lawyer. He did say that he “had no choice, I thought he was going to kill me and so I shot at him”. That’s the defense here. I believe that NYPD hopes to go to trial with this case with several witnesses that claim that they saw a gun or heard that he had a gun but it is going to be interesting trial.
The victim is 17-year old Ramarley Graham and the NYPD officer is Richard Haste. You said he is 30 years old. We understand too that again he believed that 18-year old had a gun, but they didn’t find one. Right?
They didn’t find the gun anywhere near his apartment. As he ran into a house, he locked the door behind him and then hid in the bathroom. Once police managed to get inside the bathroom - that’s when he was shot and there was no gun in that bathroom anywhere near or around that house either.
But Richard Haste was not trained for this certain unit he was with. He claims to have at least seen something. But again they found nothing.
That’s right. And several other officers who I believe are going to be witnesses and testify in this trial, say that they also heard that he did have a gun. It was also recorded through the dispatch over the radio “Gun, gun”. This I remember from covering back in February. So, there is talk of a gun but the bottom-line here is that there was no gun and that’s what is most upsetting here – an unarmed teen dead at the hands of the NYPD.
Are we seeing a large public outcry with regards to this trial? We see with the case of Trayvon Martin there are a lot of people out demonstrating. What do we seeing with regards to that in this case?
Actually this morning I read that Trayvon Martin’s father and Ramarley Graham’s father both met yesterday in New York city. There is going to be some sort of, I believe, solidarity movement today. It’s going to be a silent march not just in support of this case but also targeting stop-and-frisk. So, yes, this is definitely, I guess, Trayvon Martin of New York city, if you could call that.