Streams

Mourners at Ramarley Graham Funeral Demand Justice

Saturday, February 18, 2012

WNYC

The funeral for Ramarley Graham, the 18-year-old, unarmed Bronx man shot by a police officer who said he thought Graham had a gun, was both a celebration of a young life cut short and also a call to action.

Hundreds of mourners packed Crawford United Methodist Church on White Plains Road on Sunday for the more than 3 hour service. The teen, who was known as “Marley” or “Elmo,”  was remembered as a jokester who adored music, animals and video games. His sister Leona Virgo said he could sometimes be irksome “he might leave the phone off the receiver after talking to his girlfriend” but he was also someone who could be relied on for all sorts of things, like hooking up a stereo or changing a light bulb and especially hanging out.

His cousin Selena Brown called Graham a romantic who met his girlfriend Jasmine on Valentines Day in 2008 and often walked her to school.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who was supposed to eulogize Graham, instead spoke at the beginning of the service because he said he was also going to attend Whitney Houston’s funeral. He called the killing in Graham’s home an unnatural and inexcusable act. He said the shooting proved that the police can still operate beyond the realm of accountability. “If he’s not safe, none of us are safe,” Sharpton said.

When Sharpton vowed justice would be done, the crowd stood up and applauded.

The names of other New Yorkers also shot by police, like Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell, were mentioned by many who spoke and called for more accountability in the NYPD. “It seems like it always happens to us,” said Reverend Harold Morris, Sr., and that sentiment echoed throughout the service.

New York City Councilman Larry Seabrook said he has attended a number of funerals for police officers. “I went because it showed a level of respect, duty and responsibility,” Seabrook said.

Seabrook wondered why Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly did not in turn attend the funeral. “It’s about respecting human life and it’s important that they should be here – where is your humanity?” Seabrook concluded by saying that Graham’s life was taken illegally by an illegal act.

The NYPD has said the officer involved in the shooting and his sergeant have been reassigned to desk duty while the incident is being investigated. But Minister Kirstin John Foy and others at the funeral called for criminal prosecution in the case. Foy urged mourners to remember how they felt about Graham’s killing the next time there is an election. “If this upcoming election is not about police accountability, then we will be here again and again,” said Foy.

As the church sang “Amen” and concluded the service, an announcement was made about the funeral procession. Instead of going straight to Woodlawn Cemetery for the burial, the cars would be taking a detour to drive by Graham’s former residence and the 47th precinct before continuing to the cemetery.

Funeral service for Ramarley Graham.
Kathleen Horan/WNYC
Funeral service for Ramarley Graham.
Mourners at the Ramarley Graham funeral
Kathleen Horan/WNYC
Mourners at the Ramarley Graham funeral

Tags:

More in:

Comments [1]

kenyatta davis from BRONX

THE SADDEST DAY IN AMERICA SINCE 9-11 OR SINCE THE LAST SHOOTING DEATH OF ALL
OF THE OTHERS POLICE KEEP SHOOTING. DARK ENERGY IS EASIER TO UNDERSTAND THEN WHY THESE COPS KEEP SHOOTING YOUNG UNARMED PEOPLE. IT WOULD TAKE WORLD POWERS TO UNLOCK THIS MYSTERY WITHIN OUR HISTORY OF A DARKER DAY IN AMERICA. WHO WILL BE NEXT BECOMES THE QUESTION. MY SON, MY NEIGHBORS SON, WHY? LET'S BUILD SOMETHING AMAZING FOR THIS FAMILY SINCE THEY GAVE AMERICA ONE OF THE WORLDS STRONGEST FALLEN SOLDIGER, RAMARLEY GRAHAM. LIVE ON BROTHER. YOU ONLY LOVED TO BRING PEOPLE CLOSER TOGETHER. FOREVER IN MY HEART AND MIND AND I NEVER MET YOU SIR. I NOW HAVE A VISION FOR YOU. A SCHOOL AND AN ENTIRE DEVELOPMENT NAMED AFTER YOU. ANYONE WHO DESIRE HELPING ME CALL ME DIRECTLY. I ALREADY FOUND THE SITE. 347-851-9763. EACH TIME I VISIT THE HOME I'M NOT ALWAYS ABLE TO GO IN OR EVEN GET OUT OF MY BENZ. IT'S POWERFULLY PAINFUL CAUSE I'M REMINDED HOW LUCKY I AM THAT EACH TIME THE COPS STOPPED ME IN MY BENZ, WOW, I'M STILL HERE I OWN NO WEAPONS AND I NEVER SMOKED A CIG BEFORE OR ANYTHING ELSE. THOSE WHITE PLAINS ROAD COPS LOVE TO STOP US WITH NO REGARD AS TO WHO THEY EVEN STOPPED.I OWN A NOT FOR PROFIT COMMUNITY ACTION ORGANIZATION AND THEY STILL STOP ME. I ALWAYS WONDER WHAT THEY WILL SAY I DID EACH TIME THEY STOP ME. I ASKED THE LAST TIME THEY STOPPED ME, "WHAT ARE YALL GONNA DO RAMARLEY GRAHAM OR SEAN BELL ME. I HAVE NOTHING AND I DID NOTHING WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ME AS I FILMED THEM WITH MY EYE PHONE IN WHICH I ALREADY HAD IN RECORD MODE BY THE TIME THEY REACHED MY DRIVERS SIDE. "ROUTINE, ARE YOU ALRIGHT. ALRIGHT HAVE A NICE NIGHT SIR." I GUESS THIS IS THE NEW WAY WE BLACK ME HAVE TO STAY ALIVE EACH DAY WE LEAVE OUR HOME. A CELL PHONE IN HAND ALWAYS READY TO SAVE US OR REPORT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED. PLEASE ALL READERS. ALWAYS RECORD ANYTHING YOU EXPERIANCE OR SEE REGARDING POLICE ACTIVITY. THE FOOTAGE SUPPORT US AND ALWAYS HURT BAD COPS WHO ARE OUT TO VIOLATE. PLEASE BELEIVE THAT THEY ARE OUT THERE.

KENYATTA SHARU DAVIS
G.S.

Mar. 24 2013 07:17 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Sponsored

Latest Newscast

 

 

Support

WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public

Feeds

Supported by