Families of Loved Ones Killed By NYPD, Elected Officials, and Community Groups Denounce Intentional Delays That Help Cops that Kill Evade Discipline
17 families of New Yorkers Killed by NYPD and over 50 national and local groups send letter to Mayor Adams & NYPD Commissioner Caban, calling for firing of cops who killed Kawaski Trawick and for the Mayor to meet with the Trawicks before discipline decision -
Today, the families of Kawaski Trawick, Allan Feliz, Delrawn Small and Antonio Williams, along with elected officials, community organizations and supporters, stood together to denounce a pattern of NYPD delays and obstruction in discipline of officers who have killed New Yorkers, and called for the officers who killed their loved ones to be fired.
In each of the cases, NYPD officers unnecessarily created a crisis situation, escalated, and violently killed Black or Latino New Yorkers. The NYPD then engaged in biased internal investigations and along with NYPD unions, delayed and obstructed the discipline process for years, deliberately dragging out internal investigations passed deadlines to shield the officers from facing consequences for their actions.
“The NYPD’s pattern of delaying and obstructing discipline processes for officers who kill and harm New Yorkers protects dangerous officers and makes our city less safe,” said Loyda Colon, Executive Director of the Justice Committee and representative of Communities United of Police Reform. “When the NYPD is allowed to manipulate the system, write their own rules, and decide when to break them, there is no path for accountability and no possibility of discipline. It’s time Mayor Adams’ actions match his words. Mayor Adams and Commissioner Caban break this pattern now by allowing the CCRB to do its job, and by firing NYPD officers that unjustly murder New Yorkers.”
“My brother, Allan Feliz, was killed by the NYPD the same year Kawaski and Antonio were. October 17th will mark four years since Allan was racially profiled, illegally detained, and shot and killed by Lt. Jonathan Rivera and Officers Michelle Almanzar and Edward Barrett,” said Samy Feliz, the brother of Allan Feliz. “As with all of our cases, the NYPD dragged their internal investigation out past the statute of limitations, blocking the CCRB from doing its job. Even though the CCRB substantiated fire-able charges against Lt. Rivera, even though Rivera has a misconduct history that is miles long, the NYPD is now threatening to take the discipline case away from the CCRB. This is unacceptable, which is why I had to come out today in spite of how hard it is with my brother’s anniversary only days away. I came out for Allan, Kawaski, Delrawn and Antonio, for all of our families and everyone like us who is fighting tooth and nail against a system that is rigged to protect killer cops.”
“I’ve been fighting over seven years to get Officer Wayne Isaacs fired for murdering my brother, Delrawn Small. Every step of the way, the NYPD, and the police union have delayed and obstructed, ” said Victoria Davis, sister of Delrawn Small. “The CCRB substantiated fire-able charges 3 years ago yet here we are. First the NYPD alleges no wrong doing despite the facts. Then the police union files a lawsuit to prevent the CCRB from interviewing Officer Isaacs. When their lawsuit failed, the police union filed an appeal to block the CCRB’s motion to unseal the criminal trial records, and when that failed they sent a direct request to the NYPD Commissioner to take the case away from the CCRB, and the list goes on and on. These delay tactics allow cops to increase their salaries, get promoted, and even retire with their full pensions like we saw happen in the Mohamed Bah case. Wayne Isaacs needs to be fired for murdering Delrawn.”
“From the night Antonio was murdered, the NYPD has done everything in its power to hide the truth about what happened to him and protect the cops that murdered him.” said Shawn Williams, father of Antonio Williams. “The NYPD Force Investigation Division was stalling the CCRB investigation until the first quarter of this year. That’s three and a half years after Antonio’s murder! One of the officers has already been allowed to retire with their pension. There is only one way to understand all of these delays and cover-ups that you see in Antonio’s case, in the case of all the families here today and too many others - the system is rigged to protect the officers who killed our loved ones.”
This press conference comes on the heels of the revelation that NYPD Deputy Commissioner Maldonado has recommended all charges against Officer Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis be dropped, blaming the Civilian Complaint Review Board for serving the charges too late, in spite of the fact that the NYPD delayed the CCRB’s investigation for almost two years. If Mayor Adams and Commissioner Caban accept this rationale, it is certain that the same false rationale will be used to protect the officers who killed Mr. Williams, Mr. Feliz and Mr. Small.
At the press conference, Mrs. Trawick announced a letter sent to Mayor Adams and Commissioner Caban today, signed by almost 20 families of loved ones killed by the NYPD and 50+ national and local organizations. Family members who sent the letter include the mothers of Anthony Baez, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham and others. National and local LGBT and racial justice organizational signatories include the Center for Constitutional Rights, Color Of Change, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Transgender Law Center, New Pride Agenda, Make the Road NY, VOCAL-NY, El Puente, NYC Anti-Violence Project, and others. The letter sent to Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Caban states:
The 17 families of New Yorkers killed by police and 53 organizations sending this letter stand with the Trawick family to call on you to fire both Officers Thompson and Davis. Thompson & Davis’ misconduct created a crisis where there was none….
We also support Mrs. & Mr. Trawick’s request to meet with Mayor Adams before a final disciplinary decision is made. The Trawicks have repeatedly shared their dismay that the Mayor has never said their son’s name in public – in spite of the Thompson/Davis discipline proceeding being the highest profile administrative trial during the current administration. We’re concerned that the Trawicks have never heard from the Mayor or received acknowledgment from the administration of a letter they hand-delivered with elected officials for the Mayor at the conclusion of the discipline trial in May. In light of Mayor Adams’ statement last week that “This is the first time that I'm learning that there was a delay in turning over video,” we believe the Trawicks and their team should have the opportunity to fully brief the Mayor on the four years of NYPD obstruction and delays the Trawicks and New Yorkers have had to endure – before Commissioner Caban makes a final discipline decision.
The letter, organized by Justice Committee and Communities United for Police Reform, lists documented examples of NYPD obstruction of discipline in the Kawaski Trawick case over the past 4 ½ years. It also includes an enclosure of a May 2023 letter the Trawicks hand-delivered for the Mayor at City Hall, after the conclusion of the Thompson/Davis discipline trial. The Trawicks have received no acknowledgment or response to their May letter from the Adams administration.
“My husband and I have been fighting for Kawaski against NYPD cover-ups, delay and obstruction for 4 ½ years and we’re not alone, this is not an isolated incident,” said Ellen Trawick, mother of Kawaski Trawick. “I feel for the other families and I know they are the only ones who can really understand what my family is going through. For the NYPD to try to shield Thompson and Davis from discipline by trying to blame the CCRB for the NYPD’s delay is not just ridiculous, it’s a cruel and dangerous pattern from the NYPD’s corrupt playbook. Thompson and Davis need to be fired and so do the officers who killed Delrawn Small, Antonio Williams and Allan Feliz.”
“Accountability measures for the NYPD are constantly undermined despite our exhaustive cries for reform, which in turn undermines the oversight and transparency expectations of an agency that receives a significant chunk of taxpayer dollars,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, who represents Washington Heights, the home of Allan Feliz and his family. “We have called multiple times for Lt. Rivera's removal and repercussions for the officers involved in the case of my constituent and neighbor, Allan Feliz. Four years later, there has been no change or justice. We cannot expect to build a bridge between communities being killed at the hands of the police and those sworn to protect and serve when the trust in the justice system is consistently corroded with actions that show leniency to misconduct. We must hold the NYPD to a higher standard and demand corrective actions to their pattern of abuse and evasion of responsibility.”
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.
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory 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, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.Topics: Antonio Williams Delrawn Small Eric Garner Kawaski Trawick