NYPD Sets New Standards for Street-Level Narcotics Officers

Changes have been implemented to the application process for the NYPD’s street-level narcotics teams in the months following the shooting death of 18–year-old Ramarley Graham.

Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Tuesday cops wishing to join the division will now have to meet defined criteria.

“We did do an analysis of the special narcotics enforcement unit, the street narcotics enforcement unit, and we have made some adjustments," Kelly said, after he attended the NYPD’s annual Medal Day ceremony. "We put out a new order that quantifies the requirements that people need to meet before they go into this unit."

The city-wide investigation of the NYPD’s street-level narcotics teams was sparked by the shooting death of Graham by one of the unit’s officers in February.

Officer Richard Haste, who had been on the force for three years, will be indicted on manslaughter charges for his role in Graham’s death, according to sources. Haste is expected to turn himself in on Wednesday.

Haste was part of a street-level narcotics enforcement (SNEU) team, but had not yet received SNEU training or plainclothes training before the shooting, WNYC reported in February.

Kelly would not comment on the indictment of Haste or the NYPD’s internal review of the case. He ordered a top-to-bottom review of street-level narcotics procedures following Graham’s death.

Graham was shot dead in his bathroom by police who followed him into his apartment believing he had a gun, but no weapon was found. The Feb. 2, shooting death sparked community outrage.

Haste and his supervisor, Sgt. Scott Morris, were placed on administrative duty following the shooting of Graham.