Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Family of black teenager Ramarley Graham shot by white police officer in 2012 call for promised civil rights probe

The family made their plea as the US Attorney General pledged a thorough probe into the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown

The parents of an unarmed black 18-year-old shot dead by a white New York City police officer in 2012 led supporters on a short march to a prosecutor's office on Wednesday to demand a federal civil rights probe.

The demonstrators marched on the same day that US Attorney General Eric Holder vowed a thorough probe into the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, that has set off 11 nights of racially charged unrest.

Constance Malcolm, the mother of the late Ramarley Graham, and his father Franclot Graham, were joined by several lawyers, clergymen and political leaders as they submitted a letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder.

Organisers of the rally said more than 33,000 people had signed petitions seeking a federal probe.

Mr Graham, told reporters on Wednesday that his family feels like they “don't count, like we don't even exist.”

He explained that nobody from the US attorney's office in Manhattan had met with the family, after prosecutors promised to review evidence in their son’s case a year ago to investigate whether his civil rights were violated.

“[The family has had] Not a meeting, no face-to-face with anyone,” he said.

“I'm puzzled. I'm confused and I'm angry. My son has been dead almost 2 years and I'm still waiting for my day in court. 

"No one with authority seems to care about our son.”

“My son counts. I will not stop fighting,” he said as he wiped tears and stepped away from the microphone.

Constance Malcom, left, and Frank Graham, right stand with supporters and boxes of petitions at a press conference

During the fatal incident in February 2012, Ramarley Graham was shot once in the upper chest a bathroom in the home where three families, made up of his grandmother and other relatives, lived.

In a court statement, Richard Haste, the officer who shot him, said he fired his weapon because he thought he was going to be shot. But no weapons were found in the apartment. Police said marijuana was found in the toilet.

Haste was indicted on manslaughter charges in the summer of 2012, but the charges were dismissed and a second grand jury decided not to re-indict the officer.

The prosecutor's office did not immediately comment Wednesday.

Additional reporting by AP