Contact: Hilary Lyons 646-653-2871

Family of Kawaski Trawick, Organizers, and Elected Officials, Demand Mayor de Blasio Fire NYPD Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis

Family and Organizers Demand CCRB Substantiate Charges Against Officers

Today, the family of Kawaski Trawick, the Justice Committee, and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) met with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) regarding the CCRB investigation of NYPD officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis—the NYPD officers who killed Kawaski Trawick. The Trawick Family, the Justice Committee, and CPR were joined by Councilmember Antonio Reynoso and Councilmember Brad Lander for a media availability following the meeting to demand action and accountability for Kawaski’s killing. 

NYPD officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis killed Kawaski Trawick just 112 seconds after arriving at his apartment. Kawaski was cooking in his home when officers broke the chain off his door, tased him, and shot him multiple times, killing him.

Last month, it was made public that the NYPD’s internal investigation found no wrongdoing and has imposed no discipline on officers Thompson and Davis. The family of Kawaski Trawick, Justice Committee and CPR are calling on the CCRB to substantiate charges against the officers and for Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD to fire the officers.

Below are statements from Kawaski Trawick’s parents Ellen Trawick and Ricky Trawick, family attorney Royce Russell, organizers, and elected officials in response to their meeting with the CCRB regarding the investigation of NYPD officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis:

“NYPD officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis murdered our son Kawaski while he was cooking in his own apartment, where he should have been safe. It’s been two years of lies, hiding evidence and delays from Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD while Thompson and Davis should have been fired,” said Ellen Trawick (she/her) and Ricky Trawick (he/him), parents of Kawaski Trawick. “Mayor de Blasio should be ashamed that while he talks and tweets about police killings in other states, he protects police who kill in his own city. De Blasio and the NYPD have made our family suffer through years of pain, waiting for a shred of accountability, and then let us find out through the press that the NYPD doesn’t plan to fire – or even discipline—the officers. We’re demanding that the CCRB substantiate charges against Officers Brendan Thompson & Herbert Davis immediately and that Mayor de Blasio makes sure these officers are fired before he leaves office.”

“We demand the CCRB substantiate all charges against officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis,” said Royce Russell, the Trawick family’s attorney. “It is shameful that these officers are still employed, and the NYPD found no wrongdoing, despite the failure of Thompson and Davis to attempt any type of de-escalation.”

“Every single day that Mayor de Blasio doesn’t fire officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis for the killing of Kawaski Trawick further emboldens the NYPD to commit violence with impunity,” said Ileana Mendez-Peñate (she/her), spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform. “Kawaski Trawick was a queer, Black man cooking in his own apartment when Thompson and Davis broke the chain on his door, tased him, and shot him all within 112 seconds. We must end the violence of the NYPD, and that starts with holding officers who kill, accountable. We demand that the CCRB substantiate charges against officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis, and that Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD fire them.” 

Kawaski Trawick should have been safe in his apartment. The fire department had handled the situation by letting Kawaski back into his apartment. The NYPD was not needed. However, they arrived, gloved up and entered Kawaski's home with no legal justification,” said Loyda Colon (they/them), Executive Director of the Justice Committee. “The NYPD created the situation and continued to escalate every step of the way, until they murdered him in 112 seconds. Kawaski should be alive today. It's been 2 years. The CCRB must substantiate charges against Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis, simply investigating is not enough. Mayor de Blasio needs to stop commenting on other cities and fire officers Thompson and Davis, they were a threat to Kawaski and they are a threat to public safety.”

"The CCRB must substantiate the charges against officers Thompson and Davis to bring transparency, and accountability to the tragic and fully preventable killing of Kawaski Trawick" said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. "This is not the first time NYPD officers have entered an individual's home, escalated the situation, and ultimately killed a completely innocent person. New Yorkers should not have to fear the NYPD in their own homes - full stop. The NYPD must at minimum release the full body camera footage of this incident and fire officers Thompson and Davis."

“Kawaski Trawick should be alive today,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “The completely reckless, aggressive, and ineffective actions of the officers who invaded Kawaski’s home even though he had committed no crime, has taken Kawaski from his family. Despite the completely inappropriate actions of these two officers, they are still on the NYPD payroll, and are being protected by the NYPD and the Mayor. I implore the Civilian Complaint Review Board to substantiate charges against these officers and give the Trawick family a small piece of justice in his death.”

More Information on Kawaski Trawick:

On April 14, 2019, 32-year-old Kawaski Trawick, a Black queer man, 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. Kawaski asked the officers multiple times “Why are you in my home?” and explained, “I’m cooking.” The officers repeatedly escalated the incident by breaking the chain on Kawaski's door to enter the apartment, refused to answer Kawaski when he repeatedly asked “Why are you in my home?” and instead shouted orders at him, tased him without cause, 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. Only Thompson officer had his body-worn camera.

The NYPD refused to release full, unedited footage of the incident for almost two years – only releasing 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 of Kawaski’s killing can be heard responding, “Nobody, just a perp” when asked if anyone was injured, and it is clear that Thompson and Davis did not immediately provide care to Kawaski after he was shot.

In April 2021, it was made public 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 family is demanding that the CCRB substantiate charges against Thompson and Davis and fire the officers.

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 abusive and 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: Kawaski Trawick