The cheers of fellow cops for her unarmed son’s killer stung Constance Malcolm as cruelly as the bitter tears in her eyes.
“That’s how they work,” the heartbroken mom said Wednesday after Officer Richard Haste was sprung on $50,000 bail in the Feb. 2 shooting of Ramarley Graham. “You see it every day.”
Malcolm and her husband, Franclot Graham, sobbed throughout the Bronx Criminal Court hearing where Haste softly pleaded innocent on his 31st birthday. The weeping Graham faces Father’s Day without his son.
Yet the assembled cops still applauded their brother in blue, who faces up to 25 years in prison, in a salute that struck the Graham family like a slap in the face.
“It puts salt in the wounds.”
Courthouse protesters infuriated by the Bronx killing offered a vocal counterpoint to the clapping by taunting the four-year NYPD veteran.
“NYPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?” the demonstrators chanted at Haste, who appeared in court on crutches after a recent motorcycle accident.
Prosecutor Donald Levin, during the arraignment, said Haste’s decision to fire a single fatal shot into Graham was “neither reasonable or justifiable.”
In the most detailed description yet of the fatal encounter, Levin said Graham and Haste were just a few feet apart inside the cramped second-floor bathroom.
Haste “stood face to face with Ramarley Graham,” his weapon pointed directly at the teen, whose grandmother and 6-year-old brother were nearby, Levin said.