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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » ROBERTA FLACK AND REV. AL SHARPTON PROTEST AGAINST POLICE SHOOTING OF JAMAICAN YOUTH IN NEW YORK!

ROBERTA FLACK AND REV. AL SHARPTON PROTEST AGAINST POLICE SHOOTING OF JAMAICAN YOUTH IN NEW YORK!

Published: Sunday February 5, 2012 |////

NEW YORK, CMC – Acclaimed Grammy Award-winning singer Roberta Flack yesterday joined civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton in a donation drive as outraged friends and family demanded justice for the shooting death of an unarmed Jamaican youth by a white police officer.

Flack kicked off a collection drive with a donation of US$500 for the funeral of Ramarley Graham, 18, who was shot in his Bronx, New York apartment.

“[The Grahams] are carrying on together as a group to express their outrage. They are carrying on together to get justice,” Flack told reporters.

Sharpton’s Harlem-based National Action Network also contributed US$500 to begin the drive to bury Graham and to fly his grandfather from Jamaica to attend the funeral, he said.

“We need to pursue justice,” Sharpton said, adding that he plans to meet with the Graham family on Monday to discuss their next move.

Police officers from the Police Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit, chased Graham from the street into his second-floor apartment where they broke open the door and then ran into the bathroom where he was killed.

But no weapon has been found, the New York Police Department said.

Graham’s grandmother, Patricia Hartley said police threw her to the ground and stuck a gun in her face after her grandson was shot.

He was pronounced dead at a Bronx hospital.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) said the officer who fired the fatal bullet, Richard Haste and Sergeant Scott Morris were stripped of their guns and placed on desk duty during an internal investigation.

New York State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson also supported Hartley’s account of the shooting. “They told her to be quiet, or they would shoot her,” he said. “They were trying to make her say things that she didn’t want to say. They held her against her will,” he added.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed concern about the circumstances of the shooting.

“At this juncture, we see an unarmed person being shot. That always concerns us,” Kelly said.

“We obviously have some real concerns; and, until we know what really happened, there’s not a lot else I can say,” Bloomberg told reporters.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said an officer who was in the hallway outside the bathroom, yelled, “Gun! Gun!” to alert the officers behind him that Graham was armed.

“The partner said he then heard a shot,” Kelly said. “It is at that point we believe the shooting officer fired once from his 9-millimeter service firearm.”

But Kelly said investigators are yet to find evidence that the teenager was armed. “No gun was recovered,” he said.

Instead, the police commissioner said a bag of marijuana was retrieved from the toilet, suggesting the possibility that Graham rushed to the bathroom to try to get rid of it.

Angry neighbours screamed at police officers as they returned to the apartment to execute a search warrant, calling the officers “murderers” and accusing them of murdering Graham because he “smoked weed”.

 


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