Contact: Hilary Lyons 646-653-2871

Family of Kawaski Trawick Demands CCRB and NYPD Schedule Trial for NYPD Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis Following Charges Served

Today, the family of Kawaski Trawick is calling on the CCRB and the NYPD to schedule discipline trials for Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis, who killed Kawaski while he was cooking in his apartment. Officers killed him just 112 seconds after they arrived. In August, the CCRB substantiated charges for the officers’ misconduct, including their illegal entry by force, unjustified taser use, unjustified shooting, and failure to provide medical treatment for Kawaski Trawick, who was 32 years old when he was killed. Charges were served on the officers in October.

Mayor de Blasio appeared on NY1’s Inside City Hall in September, claiming that the delays in accountability for Officers Thompson and Davis were due to the pandemic, however, Kawaski was killed nearly a year prior to the start of the pandemic, in April 2019.

Below is a statement from the parents of Kawaski Trawick, Ellen, and Ricky Trawick, in response to the continued delays in accountability by Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD:

“The NYPD and Mayor de Blasio delayed the release of body camera footage of the NYPD killing our son, Kawaski Trawick, while he was cooking in his own home, for nearly two years and still haven't released all of the relevant footage," said Ellen Trawick (she/her) and Ricky Trawick (he/him), parents of Kawaski Trawick. “During that time, the NYPD has refused to charge or take other steps to hold Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis accountable - the CCRB had to substantiate charges against both officers. The NYPD finally served the CCRB charges on Thompson and Davis in October, two and a half years after they killed him. In September, Mayor de Blasio went on TV and blamed the pandemic for the delays that our family has been putting up with, but Kawaski was killed nearly a year before the pandemic even began in NYC. Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD will use any excuse they can to protect NYPD officers who kill New Yorkers. We are calling on the CCRB and NYPD to schedule this discipline trial so that officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis can be fired as soon as possible.”


On April 14, 2019, 32-year-old Kawaski Trawick was locked out of his apartment at Hill House in the Bronx. The fire department let him into his apartment. By the time NYPD officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis arrived, Kawaski was already back in his apartment cooking. After Davis broke the chain on Kawaski’s door with his baton to illegally gain entry, Kawaski asked the officers multiple times “Why are you in my home?” and explained, “I’m cooking.” The officers repeatedly escalated the incident including when Davis used his baton to break the chain on Kawaski's door to enter the apartment, and both Davis and Thompson refused to answer Kawaski when he repeatedly asked “Why are you in my home?”. Both officers shouted orders at Kawaski, refused to answer his questions, Thompson tased him without cause, and then shot and killed Kawaski within 112 seconds of their arrival. The NYPD sensationalized the fact that Kawaski was holding a bread knife to justify shooting him, but he was holding a knife because he was cooking - and didn’t pose a threat. Only one officer, Brendan Thompson, had his body-worn camera.

The NYPD refused to release full, unedited footage of the incident for almost two years – only releasing partial unedited footage to a legal organization, following a FOIL request. In December 2020, the NYPD released a selectively edited and incomplete video of some of the body camera footage. In footage that the NYPD later released to the legal organization, officers on the scene immediately after Kawaski’s killing can be heard saying, “Nobody, just a perp” in response to an officer asking who was injured. It is also clear that Thompson and Davis did not immediately provide care to Kawaski after he was shot.

In April 2021, it was made public through a ProPublica report that the NYPD found “no wrongdoing” on the part of Thompson and Davis. Kawaski’s family found out about the NYPD’s refusal to discipline Thompson and Davis through the news media. The CCRB voted to substantiate charges against Thompson and Davis in June 2021 and the NYPD served the charges that the CCRB filed in October. Now, the family is calling on the CCRB and NYPD to schedule the trial.

The charges substantiated against officer Brendan Thompson include the use of force for shooting Kawaski and tasing him without cause and abuse of authority for entering Kawaski’s home and failing to obtain medical treatment after shooting Kawaski. The charges substantiated against Herbert Davis include abuse of authority for unlawfully entering Kawaski’s home including when he unjustifiably used his baton to break the chain on Kawaski’s door and failing to obtain medical treatment.

Kawaski was a Black queer man, a son, a brother, and reportedly a beloved member of the ballroom community.

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, 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: Kawaski Trawick