Cops who Killed Kawaski Trawick May Avoid Accountability: Draft NYPD Report Recommends Charges be Dismissed Against Officers Who Killed Black Gay Man, Kawaski Trawick, in His Own Home
Four months after the disciplinary trial against Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis for the 2019 killing of Kawaski Trawick, the NYPD deputy commissioner who oversaw the trial recommended that the charges against the two officers be dismissed. Trawick, a 32-year-old Black gay man, was cooking in his own Bronx apartment when officers broke the chain on his door, illegally entered his apartment, and then tased and shot him within 112 seconds.
“The anguish we have had to face since our son was murdered in his own home is unbearable, a weight no parent should ever have to hold. And the only thing that makes the pain and suffering worse is experiencing the stunning disregard and power of the NYPD close up. It seems like every time we turn around there’s some new trick they’re pulling to block basic accountability and protect these cops who broke into his home and shot Kawaski in a matter of seconds,” said Ellen Trawick, mother of Kawaski Trawick. “Anyone who saw the video, which took 20 months to be released, knows my son should be alive and that Thompson and Davis did wrong and they should be fired.”
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Rosemarie Maldonado’s shocking recommendation hinges largely on the assertion that the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) did not serve the charges within the correct time frame. However, it was the NYPD who delayed the charges and the trial at every turn.
“For the NYPD’s deputy commissioner to try to protect Thompson and Davis by trying to blame the CCRB for the NYPD’s delays and cover-ups is not just ridiculous, it’s a lie, and cruel and dangerous for New Yorkers. It sends the signal that police can break into your home, create a crisis - and in the course of that crisis that they created, murder you and get away with it because the NYPD will block any consequences. Mayor Adams & Commissioner Caban must reject this outrageous recommendation and make amends for the NYPD’s 4 years of obstruction by finally firing Thompson & Davis for their misconduct and killing of Kawaski Trawick,” said Loyda Colon, Executive Director of the Justice Committee and member of Communities United for Police Reform.
Kawaski Trawick’s family, advocates and community members have been demanding that Thompson and Davis be fired for years. The NYPD has intentionally delayed these decisions at every turn. For almost two years, the NYPD did not release any video and when it did, it was incomplete. The department did not let anyone see the full video until a judge ordered its release. After Kawaski was killed, the NYPD did not turn over body camera footage for 21 months, deliberately blocking the CCRB from doing a timely investigation. Internal investigation reports show that the NYPD investigation was a sham, and investigators did not spend more than 30 minutes interviewing either Thompson or Davis. Not a single question was asked about what the video footage showed or when Thompson or Davis contradicted the footage or each other.
The internal NYPD recommendation to dismiss charges is not final, and now moves into the purview of Mayor Adams’ newly appointed Police Commissioner, Edward Caban.
“Mayor Adams has never once said our son’s name publicly, or responded to the letter we sent him when the trial ended, or given any sign he cares. He should be embarrassed that he’s allowing officers who kill New Yorkers to keep going to work and pulling a paycheck for years, all while escaping accountability for murdering our son” said Rickie Trawick, father of Kawaski Trawick. “Following this outrageous internal recommendation, it’s now up to Mayor Adams and his new police commissioner to reject this sham recommendation and finally do right by New Yorkers by firing Officers Thompson and Davis.”
"We’ve been through two mayoral administrations and four police commissioners since Kawaski Trawick was killed. It’s been more than four years of cover-ups, delays and obstruction. This bad recommendation blaming the CCRB for not meeting a deadline that NYPD obstruction made near impossible for them to meet is nonsense and could let these dangerous officers continue as police with no consequences. This puts all New Yorkers at risk and would send the message that Mayor Adams and the NYPD don’t care about Black gay lives, or Black lives, period. The only correct action now is for Mayor Adams & Commissioner Caban to reject the recommendation and fire Thompson and Davis” said Jawanza Williams, Managing Director of Organizing at VOCAL-NY.
About the Justice Committee:
Since the 1980s, the Justice Committee (JC) has been dedicated to building a movement against police violence and systemic racism in New York City. The heart of our work is organizing and uplifting the leadership of families who have lost loved ones to the police and survivors of police violence. We empower our community to deter police violence, hold law enforcement accountable, and build people-led community safety through grassroots organizing campaigns, community empowerment, political education, our CopWatch program, and by developing safety mechanisms and projects that decrease reliance on police. By building solidarity with other anti-racist, immigrant and people of color-led organizations, the Justice Committee seeks to contribute to a broad-based movement for racial, social, and economic justice.
About Communities United for Police Reform:
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory and abusive policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, grassroots organizers, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change.Topics: Kawaski Trawick