By TOM HAYS 02/ 3/12, New York Times
NEW YORK — The police department announced Friday that a narcotics officer and his sergeant have been stripped of their guns and put on desk duty amid an investigation of the officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed drug suspect within a few feet of the suspect’s grandmother inside the family home.
The measures came after the New York Police Department backed away from an initial account saying that the officer had struggled with 18-year-old Ramarley Graham at the door of a bathroom. Police said a bag of marijuana was found in the toilet, suggesting Graham was trying to flush it away before the gunfire erupted.
A grand jury was expected to investigate the shooting to determine if the officers should face criminal charges, said police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who expressed sympathy for the family.
“We’re obviously trying to get the facts,” Kelly said at a news conference. “A young man’s life was taken. … It’s the worst thing that can happen to a parent – to lose a child.”
The NYPD did not immediately release the name of the 30-year-old officer or the sergeant, whose conduct was under scrutiny because he was in charge of the officers who responded to the home.
The shooting stemmed from an NYPD investigation of street corner drug dealing in a Bronx neighborhood. On Thursday afternoon, a police observation team identified Graham as a potential suspect and radioed to other officers that he “appeared to be armed,” Kelly said. In a later transmission, the officers mistakenly reported that “they observed the butt of a gun in the waistband of (Graham),” he added. Continue reading