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Controversial Shootings Haven’t Affected Careers of NYPD Officers, Several Receive Raises and Promotions

NYPD member Kenneth Boss gets promoted to Sergeant December 17, 2015, 17 years after divisive shooting of Amadou Diallo, at One Police Plaza in New York City. (Howard Simmons/NY Daily News)

NYPD member Kenneth Boss gets promoted to sergeant on Dec. 17, 17 years after divisive shooting of Amadou Diallo, at One Police Plaza in New York City. (Howard Simmons/NY Daily News)

They say crime doesn’t pay, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for New York police officers. News reports state that police officers involved in the controversial shootings of Ramarley Graham and Amadou Diallo have received raises and promotions.

According to The Huffington Post, New York police officer Richard Haste is now making about $20,000 more than what he made in 2012 when he shot Graham. Police shot Graham, a Bronx teenager, after they had illegally entered his home (officers did not have a search warrant). They claimed he was reaching for a gun, but no weapon was recovered.

Haste faced two grand juries over Graham’s death. The first grand jury tossed the case because of a prosecutorial mistake and the second grand jury declined to indict him. According to Huff Post, grand jury records are sealed, so it’s impossible to know what evidence Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson presented to them. The NYPD launched an internal investigation into the Graham shooting in 2012, which is still ongoing. The U.S. Department of Justice also launched an investigation in 2014.

Haste was disciplined by the New York Police Department. He was removed from active duty and reassigned to the motor division. According to public records, Haste made $63,694 in fiscal year 2012, but earned $88,614 this fiscal year. Al O’Leary, spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said the raises were contractually mandated.

“Any raises that any police officer, detective, sergeant on up to captain gets is because it is contractually mandated as a result of an agreement between the city and the union that represents the title,” O’Leary said. “So suggesting that there is something special or unusual in any raise for any non-managerial member of the NYPD, like Haste, is simply wrong. Everyone in that same title with similar time on the job (longevity pay) got what he got. That’s the way it works.”

However, earlier this year, three Black employees who work for the NYPD’s motor division sued the department claiming they had been denied promotion to full mechanics, a move that would have doubled their salaries from $40,000 to $80,000. Frank Graham, Ramarley’s father, demanded to know how Haste had managed to receive raises while still under investigation.

“This is what you do?” said Frank Graham. “Reward these guys for killing innocent people? How is this possible? I’d like to ask the current mayor, the city council, the commissioner: How is this possible?”

The New York Post also reported that Kenneth Boss, one of four officers who fired 41 shots at Amadou Diallo, an African immigrant, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant. The officers shot the unarmed Diallo because they thought he was reaching for a gun. He was reaching for his wallet. All four officers were acquitted of second-degree murder and reckless endangerment charges.

Kadiatou Diallo, Amadou’s mother, recently staged a rally in Harlem with the Rev. Al Sharpton. Diallo, who has become a campaigner against police violence, said B0ss shouldn’t still be working in law enforcement.

“My heart was broken,” Diallo told The New York Post. “It was like a knife through my heart. Because I believe if someone, a police officer, has been empowered by holding his gun and going abusing it and killing innocent people, he should not be entitled to do the same work.”

Diallo and Sharpton requested a meeting with New York Police Commissioner William Bratton to demand changes to the civil service laws.

“So even if your conduct was not deemed criminal, it does have the right for the Commissioner to say, ‘Since two unarmed people are dead as a result of your work, I do not find it fitting for promotion,’” Sharpton said.

The City of New York paid large settlements to the Graham and Diallo families. The Graham family received $3.9 million and the Diallo family received $3 million.

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