NYPD Holds Trial for Officer Who Killed Unarmed Man

In this June 13, 2012, photo, police officers and supporters clap as Officer Richard Haste exits the courthouse after posting bail in New York. Haste pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Ramarley Graham, which were ultimately dismissed. His internal NYPD disciplinary trial got underway Tuesday to determine what punishment, if any, he incurs because of the fatal shooting. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

A disciplinary trial has begun for a white New York City officer in a case that was an early catalyst for outrage over police use of deadly force against black men.

Richard Haste appeared Tuesday at an administrative court on departmental charges accusing him of failing to use proper tactics in the killing of an unarmed drug suspect in 2012.

In opening statements, New York Police Department lawyer Beth Douglas said Haste used poor judgment by forcing his way into a Bronx apartment and firing on Ramarley Graham. Other officers had reported the 18-year-old had a gun, but no weapon was found.

Defense attorney Stuart London faulted Graham for refusing orders to show his hands. He said his client opened fire only after seeing Graham reach into his waistband.