Surveillance Video Shows the NYPD Kicking Down Ramarley Graham's Door Right Before They Killed Him

The death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham in Brooklyn last Friday was the third time that week that a member of the New York Police Department shot a citizen. It now seems likely that that the Graham shooting will be the incident with the most controversial teeth. After all, the teenager was killed in his Grandmother's bathroom, and the Grandmother and Graham's six-year-old brother were in the apartment at the time.

And not only is the initial story — that Graham struggled with police before he was shot — already falling apart (even Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has admitted this) but some newly-released surveillance footage of Graham and the police on his trail makes the NYPD look very bad indeed, and like probable-violators of the Fourth Amendment.

(Though maybe not, thanks to Kentucky vs. King which upheld the right of police to kick down a door if they smelled marijuana; Justice Samuel Alito took the stance that if someone bars police entry on Constitutional grounds that's legal, but if they instead attempt to destroy evidence (making sounds to suggest they are doing that), a warrant-less home invasion is justified. Does the legality of entry also depend on how whether the drugs were visible during the alleged buy? Or the threat of Graham's non-existent gun which cops twice reported over the radio? I don't know, but I would be interested to see what brainier, more legal-minded people have to say, including the folks over at Volokh Conspiracy.)

The footage below shows Graham returning home at a walk. Two police officers are several seconds behind him, but they're running. Graham goes inside and then the cops spend several minutes trying to kick down the front door. They finally move to the back where they successfully broke into the apartment. Below is a New York 1 news report on the footage, and a WPIX  report with clearer picture can be found here.

Then things gets hazier. Residents of the apartment say that police didn't identify themselves. You can see "police" on the back of their jackets in the video, but you could also understand some disorientation or confusion over the identity of two gun-toting people who just broke down your back door. Graham definitely was in the bathroom when he was killed, supposedly while trying to flush his recently-purchased marijuana. As mentioned, even Commissioner Kelly is backing away from the allegations that there was a scuffle. The officer who shot Graham, as well as his Sergeant, are both now on restricted leave (desk duty, with their guns and badges revoked). Again, no gun was found on Graham, or in the apartment.

The New York Post reports that NYPD Commissioner Kelly's verdict is promisingly not-100 percent in support of police. He said at a press conference that "the evidence will be presented to a grand jury" and “At this juncture, we see an unarmed person being shot. That always concerns us."

Further stoking the controversy are allegations about how poorly Graham's Grandmother was treated by police. She says she was held for seven hours and denied access to her heart medication.

Reason on police and the NYPD

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Posted on February 6, 2012, 5:24PM

    I don't think so.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Lucy is new. The squirrels post her stuff when they feel like it.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Someday I'll be queen of the squirrels!

  • Jumbie||

    Someonee already beat you to it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squirrel_girl

  • ||

    Lucy exists about 30 minutes ahead of us in the time stream, you moron. Everyone knows this. Except you, evidently.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Thanks for letting me know. Knowledge is power, and now I have the power. Dumbass.

  • ||

    If I've managed to make you even fractionally less retarded, I couldn't care less.

  • Pham Nuwen||

    But knowing is half the battle you reject! There will be no stopping FoE now!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's for sure.

  • db||

    So she's in Newfoundland?

  • ||

    For her sake, I hope not.

  • db||

    Hey, the people there are nice, if unintelligible. And there's snow! And cool cliffs and stuff. And...well, Fuckin' Signal Hill. That's it, really.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Lily knows what I'm talking about.

  • Newt Gingrich||

    i'm dtf

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    looking for the bilover?

    THERE'S ONLY ONE?!?!

  • Old Salt||

    Not according to Larry Flynt...

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The officer who shot Graham, as well as his Sargent, are both now on restricted leave (desk duty, with their guns and badges revoked).

    Yet their paychecks are still direct deposited every other Friday.

  • Father Jack||

    Feck these oinker bastids. Drink! Arse! Girls!

  • ||

    The childish chatter above demonstrates the libertarian mentality.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The video is high-grade. Its clarity comparable to that of a professional system. The officers are clearly seen desperately trying to break into the house. The damage was evident once PIX11 stepped through the front door --the wood around the locks splintered.

    Am I the only one who sees the obvious solution here? The city needs to have a database of all video surveillence systems, their locations and quality of picture. That way LEO can be alerted ahead of time if the story they must concoct to justify violence might be credibly challenge. Or at least they can erase some tape before news crews and lawyers get involved. For officer safety.

  • ||

    Am I the only one who sees the obvious solution here?

    The obvious obvious solution is to outlaw doorlocks within the five boroughs. All that kicking and splintering wears a man out, and by the time he gets through, he's going to be extra cranky. And that's when people wind up getting shot.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Does anyone in positions of legal authority ever question whether terrorizing citizens, destroying property, killing people, and undermining public trust in their institutions is really worth it to prevent someone from destroying evidence of a crime like simple possession of illicit drugs?

  • ||

    Evidently, they couldn't give two shits

  • Bingo||

    I'm pretty sure that at this point simple possession of illicit drugs is made a crime in order to ensure the continued growth of the police state. Terrorizing, property theft and destruction, and killing people is just the frosting on top of that money-filled cake.

  • Robert (in the Bronx)||

    Do you think that's what went on here? I doubt that's the real story. I don't know if we'll ever get the real story, but maybe. Cleary these cops were highly motivated, and I doubt it was over marijuana. Maybe it was something this guy knew, or knew about, that they wanted to make sure nobody else found out.

  • ||

    No.

  • rather||

    It's sad to see a kid just before his murder

  • JFK||

    Just pop this ampule under your nose and you'll do just fine.

  • Brandon||

    "Not only did is police's initial story"

    Please fix this. Apparently any typo is enough for the Times, police circle-jerk sites and other "serious" people to deny you any credibility when you're not toeing the "Drug-crazed terrorist had it coming" line.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    That's a heavy burden for someone as typo-prone as I.

  • Brandon||

    Hey, I don't make the rules, I just see a lot of links to cop discussion threads and Times authority-fellating following events like this.

  • ||

    Don't the folks at Police One suck about as much dick as is humanly possible without gagging to death?

  • db||

    The masters of circular breathing technique.

  • ||

    Their individual cowardice is almost palpable. Without a badge and the power of law behind them, those fucks wouldn't be worth shit.

  •  ||

    Anonymity makes one brave as well.

  • ||

    Don't the folks at Police One suck about as much dick as is humanly possible without gagging to death?

    Cop dick is extra small, so the choking hazard is minimal.

  • dunphy||

    Most cops I know have huge dicks and know how to use em! ;-)

  • ||

    Federale-provided APC barrels don't count.

  • ||

    I am pretty sure I dont want to know how you came by that info

  • ||

    I am pretty sure I dont want to know how you came by that info

    It's obvious, even without, um, direct evidence. Anyone that in love with power and authority is likely trying to compensate for some shortcoming, so to speak. Kinda the same way you know a guy a like Rick Santorum is most likely a latent homosexual; anyone that consumed with stamping out teh gay is probably wrestling with some serious demons.

  • Santorum||

    It's drinking! Not homosexuality. Yeah I have demons, but they come in the form of booze which I drink to chase away the thoughts of penises from out of my head. Don't know why I have them, I just do. Penises everywhere. Can't look in a bowl of Lucky Charms without seeing penises floating around in the milk. Why is that? Alcoholic, not teh gay!

  • A Serious Man||

    I suggest we send this article to elementary schools and have the kids fix the typos. They can learn good grammar and that they'll soon be fair game for badge-wearing, power-mad assholes who think a person should die for buying mari-ja-wana.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    But you used the nominative case personal pronoun, so you have that going for you, which is nice.

  • ||

    Sargent?
    John Singer Sargent 1856-1925.
    American painter known especially for his elegant portraits and watercolor landscapes.

  • ||

    No, of course not.

    Thomas J Sargent, winner of the 2011 "nobel" prize in economics.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    My bad, y'all. (And to the myriad other typos I may have just corrected.)

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    His portraits and landscapes may be what the art history geeks go on about, but...

    ...it is his mural-sized work showing the lines of soldiers blinded by gas being led out of the trenches of WWI is what really sticks with me.

    It'll get 'ya right in the heart.

  • Bingo||

    If they weren't wearing badges it would be a manslaughter charge, minimum.

    How exactly does this nation have anything resembling "equality under the law" anymore?

  • ||

    Did it ever?

  • ||

    It doesn't.

  • Coeus||

    If they weren't wearing badges it would be a manslaughter charge, minimum.

    Great. Just great. Now you've summoned dunphy. Now someone has to go through all of the bullshit examples he's gonna post and point out the fundamental differences of which he's already aware.

  •  ||

    Our political system grants monopoly initiation of force to the police. That power comes from the people. Complaining about it in a chat room won't change anything. But you know that. Don't you?

  • Coeus||

    I must have missed the meeting where we granted police the power to shoot a guy for flushing weed. Did you take notes?

  • Killazontherun||

    I was there. It was a type of meeting, but the word 'coup' would be more specific.

  • SCRATCH A PALEO, FIND A SOCON||

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul148.html

    "The War on Religion" by Dr. Ron Paul

    "The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders' political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government's hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life."

    You heard the good doctor - NO MUSLIMS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS! NO HINDU PLAYS ON CITY PROPERTY! ALL CHRISTIANS - GET OUT!

  • ||

    Prolitarii vsekh stran, soydenyaytes'!

  • SIV||

    God Bless Dr. Paul.

  • Scratch a WI||

    Find an intolerant MIND COP: independent thought is in violation of tribal hive mind.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    At risk of feeding the troll, I have to disagree with Ron Paul when he states, "The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance." My disagreement stems from the abuse of the term "Founding Fathers." The men who were involved in formulating our revolution and new government were not a monolith. They actually agreed on very little. As for religion, you did have deeply religious Christian men, like John Jay. However, you also had Deists, like Jefferson and Washington, whose Christianity would not be recognized by today's Evangelicals. Not to mention outright, religion-hating Atheists/Freethinkers like Thomas Paine.

    Certainly, you can say some of the "Founding Fathers" held the views that Ron Paul ascribes to all of them; however, it would be historically inaccurate to say that all of them viewed "religion", i.e. Christianity as essential to American civic life.

  • ||

    Knock it off with the pot smoking. You and your friends are on the wrong posting.

  • ||

    OK wow that makes a lot of sense dude. WOw.

    www.Be-Anon.tk

  • ||

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

    Your stormtroopers commit murder, you fucking piece of iniquitous shit, and it 'CONCERNS' you? It should stagger, disgrace, and depress you.

    I should have stopped reading at "New York".

  • Bingo||

    When unarmed "civilians" get shot and killed, it concerns them. When one of their own gets shot, they close down the streets, throw a massive fucking parade, and make speech after speech about how they can never let it happen again.

  • ||

    Somebody should tell the Tuff Gais that they're also civilians. You want to do it? Because I don't think whoever does will be breathing an hour later.

  • Bingo||

    Each time an unarmed person gets shot, the entire department should get a 10% paycut for the rest of the year. If they can be collectively silent when atrocities occur then they can take collective punishment as well.

  • ||

    I'd also like to see murderers within their ranks charged, tried, and punished as harshly as everybody else, but pigs don't fly (unless they're LAPD helicopter pilots, I guess), up is still up, and down is still down, so that's not going to happen.

  • A Serious Man||

    What? You don't seriously think the agency responsible for enforcing the will of the government actually values human life, do you?

  • ||

  • A Serious Man||

    Nice. We've gone from employing peace officiers to law enforcement officiers. The distinction is obvious.

  • *||

    So is that standard procedure?

    1) "He's got a gun!"
    2) Spend a few minutes breaking down the door
    3) Head inside, expecting... expecting what exactly? A shootout?

    And no, it doesn't make a lot of sense when u think about it, dude. Though, I am intrigued by the bilover matchmaker thing. Ron Paul's war on religion, not so much.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Thank God these fine men gunned down this awful criminal before he was able to poison the City's water supply with illicit drugs. You just can't be too careful these days.

  • ||

    Fuck this shit. It's too risky. The cops should just round up every other person in New York and gas them. It'll definitely take out a lot of criminals! That's for real sure!

  • Judge Death||

    The crime is life, the sentence is death!

  • Marshall||

    Only if they gas themselves too. Otherwise most of the criminals would be left.

  • ryan||

    Damn! Bad news again...

  • Max||

    Well-trained and highly paid private cops would have had the sense to take out the surveilance camera before kicking the door in.

  • Marshall||

    Well-trained and highly paid private cops would also have criminal and civil liability as would anybody else.

    It's ridiculous the level of proof one must obtain to have any hope of seeing a murdering cop prosecuted.

    It's all about incentives. And there is no incentive not to be a murderous bastard if you're a state cop.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Waiting for OCCIFER dunphy to run in claiming that Ramarley Graham was potentially a real-life Nino Brown, that he brought his death on himself by running home, and that no guns need be pointed at the police for them to shout "Gun! Gun!"

    A waistband is a lethal weapon to the NYPD and if you reach for it, it's your ass.

  • Jumbie||

    Actually Dunphy already said this guy was asking to get killed in the first thread on the topic. Basically he said that the guy sealed his fate by reaching for his waistband.

    Of course, Ramarley was also struggling with the cops before this- Wait no he wasn't.

    Well he was running from them- Well until he WALKED into his house.

    But that reaching for his waistband. That really happened. Scouts' Honor.

    ----

    Dear typo police, is it 'Scouts' honor,' Scout's Honor,' or scout's honor' or what?

  • Mensan||

    The officer who shot Graham, as well as his Sargent, are both now on restricted leave (desk duty, with their guns and badges revoked).

    Spell check, Lucy, spell check.

  • Killazontherun||

    Would not a wrong door knock down at Gracie Manson be the ultimate form of cosmic justice?

  • New Yawkuz||

    But then who would tell us what to eat, drink and smoke???

  • Killazontherun||

    Journalist recovers video of his arrest after police deleted it

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-po.....ted-it.ars

    Get a look at this sexy cop bitch:

    http://static.arstechnica.net/.....-30018.png

    The genetic stock of your average cop, Growwwl!

  • Amakudari||

    And clearly not much going on intellectually either.

    Also, does no one realize what happens when you "delete" a file? Nothing happens to the original data until they're overwritten by new data. Just delete everything then take a long video of the floor. Or format the disk. Damn.

  • tarran||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Since you SF'd the link; you must be punished.

  • tarran||

    Ahhhh! My ears are bleeding!

    Here's the non sugarfreed link. You ungrateful bastards.

  • Jose||

    This is what happens when you train men to be killers, send them to a foreign country where they pull this shit at will, then bring them home and expect them to play nice. Cops in this country are acting as if they are in a war zone. PTSD affects everyone.

  • tarran||

    It can be the other way around. Many of the nasty warcrimes/misconduct like Abu Ghraib are committed not by active duty troops, but reservists called up from jobs in law enforcement.

    For example, the ringleaders in Abu Ghraib were prison guards in civilian life.

  • Coeus||

    Generation Kill is an excelent resource for this.

  • ||

    Agreed. There was a lot to like/dislike about GK, but the contrast between the "real" soldiers and the dickhead reservists really stuck with me. They couldn't wait to kill them some r**heads.

  • ||

    The four cops that I personally knew evaded Vietnam military service. Cops are too cowardly to fight against those that are armed. If there really was a gun belief, there would have been a tactical team called in.

  • Marshall||

    The problem isn't ex-military getting into law enforcement, it's the manner in which law enforcement is trained in military techniques and uses military equipment.

    A job in law enforcement might actually help some veterans if it didn't inculcate them with a mentality of constant war between them and those they police. As it is, it's just as bad for those who have never served.

  • Marshall||

    Oh, and I meant to say, in addition to techniques/equipment, there is also the mindset which law enforcement has adoption and encourages in its ranks. You call something a "War" and you ask for the military's help, you end up with a culture of law enforcement entirely inappropriate for a free country.

  • ||

    It's plainly obvious the cops knew good and well Graham didn't have a gun. No one spends several minutes knocking down a door when they know there's a guy on the other side pointing a gun at them. They'd be fish in a barrel.

  • tarran||

  • Coeus||

    It's possible they thought that and did it anyway. You must understand, the throbbing erections they had reduced blood flow to the brain. Because after all, it's "better than sex".

    http://www.policeone.com/SWAT/.....-and-Talk/

  • ||

    You give cops too much credit.

  • ||

    Absolutely correct. The police are cowads. They are murderers. They don't take dumb chances with their lives over a bag of pot.

  • ||

    You Sugarfree'd the link, Tarran.

  • Coeus||

    A few of the cops on policeone seem to feel that "when in doubt, shoot it out", and "better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6".

    Somehow, I have the sneaking suspicion that they weren't talking about the homeowner in regards to the plainclothes cops. But I'm gonna go ahead and agree with them. He definitely should have killed both cops who came through the door.

  • Coeus||

  • Anonymous Coward||

    better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6

    Amusing, considering that they rarely get any of that "judged by 12" stuff, but regularly condemn people to be judged by 6 based on a whim.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    CARRIED by 6, even.

  • rob taylor ||

  • ||

    "Further stoking the controversy are allegations about how poorly Graham's Grandmother was treated by police. She says she was held for seven hours and denied access to her heart medication."

    If she'd had a heart attack there would have been no adult non-police witnesses, and they'd been free to drop a gun or whatever on the scene.

  • ||

    In other tales, why the fuck haven't Jose Guerena and Mr Kelly's murderers been tried and imprisoned/executed for second and first-degree murder, respectively?

  • ||

    All animals are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others.

  • Abdul||

    I think the 4th amendment doctrine that would most closely fit this situation would be "hot pursuit." cops can enter and search a home without a warrant when in immediate pursuit of a person suspected of committing a crime.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Yeah, I wondered whether that applies to any and all crimes. Which seems terrifying broad and all...

  • ||

    Thanks for your ruling, Clarence Thomas.

  • moosecat||

    this kind of story makes me waiver on my stand against the death penalty

  • ||

    The 4A violation seems a little trivial compared to the murder that occurred shortly thereafter, don't you think?

    Imagine, if you will, that I am a CCW holder with a gun. I've gotten into an argument with someone. They "reach for their waistband", and before they actually pull a gun, I blow their head off.

    Do you think I'm going to get off on the murder charge? I don't. And I live in freakin' Texas, where lethal self-defense is practically a sport.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    I do think. But I was curious about the legality of the entry its self (before the convenient cop had to make a split-second decision moment.)

  • ||

    And they wonder why many rejoice everytime some stupid cop gets clipped in the line of duty!

    www.anon-puter.tk

  • isabelle ||

    im really pissed off about this he lived right up the block from me im really mad them cops aint have to do dhat to him yo im really pissed off about this every time i see his picture i jus wanna break down and cry why did the cops do that to him why yo WHYYY i hope we get justice yo cant belive this shit man cant belive at all

  • isabelle ||

    the cops violated him dead ass

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