Marking Five Years Since Kawaski Trawick Was Killed by Police:

Elected Officials and Racial Justice Groups Rally to Demand An End to Delays 

& the Firing of Officers Who Killed Him


Today–nearly five years to the day that Kawaski Trawick, a Black gay man killed by the NYPD in his own home – Kawaski’s family, racial justice organizations, and elected officials rallied on the steps of City Hall to demand Mayor Adams and NYPD Commissioner Edward Cabán end their delays and finally fire NYPD Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis for killing Mr. Trawick on the night of April 14, 2019. 

This Sunday marks five years since Officers Thompson and Davis broke the chain on Mr. Trawick’s door, gained illegal entry into his apartment and tased and shot him within 112 seconds. Neither of the officers attempted to administer emergency medical aid and let Mr. Trawick bleed out on the floor as Herbert Davis held the door shut. Mr. Trawick’s case bears striking resemblance to the recent killing of 19-year-old Win Rozario, who was tased and shot in his home by NYPD officers just two weeks ago.

”There is no good excuse for why Thompson and Davis aren’t already fired. Plain and simple, Thompson stole Kawaski’s life and Davis helped him do it. It’s been a year since their discipline trial and we can’t believe that Mayor Adams has let this carry on so long without a decision to fire Thompson and Davis,” said Mrs. Ellen and Mr. Rickie Trawick, parents of Kawaski Trawick in a statement read by Shannon Bland, Kawasaki Trawick’s cousin. “Our hearts go out to the Rozario family, whose 19-year-old son was also killed by the NYPD in a situation that’s similar to Kawaski. In both cases, the police came, created a crisis and killed our sons in seconds. In both cases, Mayor Adams has acted like our sons don’t exist – he hasn’t called for justice for Kawaski, for Win, or anyone else killed by the NYPD. In both cases, the NYPD machine spewed lies about what happened while hiding the facts and the names of the police. We appreciate all the support from all of you who keep fighting with us to demand that Thompson and Davis be fired.”

While the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), NYC’s police oversight agency, recommended termination of both officers, the Eric Adams administration has allowed the case to remain unresolved for almost a year since the discipline trial. The Thompson/Davis discipline trial started on April 24, 2023 and concluded in May 2023, yet Mayor Adams and Commissioner Cabán have still not rendered a final discipline decision. In comparison, under former Mayor de Blasio, Daniel Pantaleo was fired two months after his discipline trial for the killing of Eric Garner. Under Adams, extended delays, obstruction and lack of consequences for police brutality have been common. In the case of 66-year-old Deborah Danner, it took the NYPD eighteen months after the discipline hearing to finally render a decision, allowing Barry to resign seven years after he killed Ms. Danner. 

At the rally, Loyda Colon (they/them), Executive Director of Justice Committee and CPR spokesperson said “Mayor Adams should be ashamed that instead of holding cops who kill accountable like he promised when running for mayor, Adams' NYPD is worse than Giuliani's. Like Giuliani, Mayor Adams refuses to fire cops who kill but what's even worse is that this administration has a pattern of letting the NYPD cover-up and obstruct without consequence, hide the names of cops who kill and take much longer to make final discipline decisions. Thompson and Davis should have already been fired and it's outrageous that a year after the discipline trial there's still no decision, just like they did with the cop who killed Deborah Danner. They're dragging this out, hoping New Yorkers aren't paying attention but too many of us have fought for Kawaski for too long to forget now. We need the mayor and NYPD to stop the delays and finally fire Thompson and Davis." 

For years, Kawaski Trawick’s parents (Ellen and Rickie Trawick) have worked with the Justice Committee, Communities United for Police Reform and others to call for the firing of Thompson and Davis in the face of repeated cover-ups and obstruction by two mayoral administrations and the NYPD. For almost two years, the NYPD did not release any video footage from the incident and when it did, it was incomplete. The department did not let anyone see the full video until a judge ordered its release. After Mr. Trawick was killed; the NYPD did not turn over body camera footage to the CCRB for 21 months, 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. 

“It’s been five years since Kawaski Trawick was tragically killed in his own home at the hands of two NYPD officers. My heart continues to be with his loved ones left grieving and seeking accountability for his death. As the Council Member representing the district where Kawaski Trawick lived and was killed, I continue to support and fight alongside the Trawick family in their quest for accountability,” said Council Member Pierina Sanchez. “As we remember Kawaski, we demand the NYPD fire these officers and strive to create the change that ensures such a tragedy can never happen again. The facts in this case are clear, as highlighted by CCRB’s substantiating evidence of NYPD misconduct: accountability means termination of the officers who took Kawaski’s life.”

The Trawick family attorney, Royce Russell spoke directly to the biased nature of the NYPD and the Adams administration, “The lack of compassion and respect is revealing given the law enforcement background of the City’s leadership.”

The rally was organized by groups that have been working closely with Kawaski Trawick’s family on the campaign to fire Thompson and Davis, including: Justice Committee, Make the Road NY, Housing Works, NYC Anti-Violence Project, VOCAL-NY, El Puente, Showing Up for Racial Justice-NYC, and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR)


“The police think they have the power and authority to do whatever they want. They murdered Kawaski Trawick in his own home. I’m disgusted that Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis have not been fired. Kawaski deserves justice, just like Win Rozario. NYPD officers must face consequences for killing Black and brown New Yorkers,” said Marcos Larios, youth member of Make the Road NY 

“The officers involved in the murder of Kawaski Trawick must be fired immediately. Five years after his murder, Kawaski’s family still has not seen any effort by the Adams administration to serve justice in his case,” said Donavon Taveras, Lead Organizer, El Puente.

“For five long years, Trawick's family and advocates have not been able to rest due to our mayoral administration’s refusal to hold NYPD Officers Thompson and Davis accountable for the death of Kawaski Trawick.  This injustice highlights the legacy of racism in our county and city—a system that blatantly discriminates based on race, sexual orientation, and identity expression. This injustice not only robs individuals of dignity and life, but wastes human potential, undermining our community. The time for action is now; Commissioner Caban and Mayor Adams must fire Thompson and Davis to ensure justice for Kawasaki Trawick and his family,“ said Anthony Feliciano, VP Community Mobilization, Housing Works.



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, 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