Contact: Hannah Ross (202) 448-0246 press@changethenypd.org

Mother of Kawaski Trawick & Attorney Slam Bronx District Attorney for Disrespectful & Unprofessional Stonewalling of Basic Information

Trawick Family Walks Out of Meeting Due to Bronx DA Office’s “Selective Transparency

Bronx, New York - After walking out of a meeting with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, the mother of Kawaski Trawick and her attorney Royce Russell, released the following statements. Kawaski Trawick was killed by the NYPD on April 14, 2019.

Statement from Ellen Trawick, mother of Kawaski Trawick:

 “I am disgusted and appalled by how my family has been treated by the Bronx District Attorney's office,” said Ellen Trawick, mother of Kawaski Trawick. “It has been more than 6 months since my son was gunned down and murdered by NYPD officers in his own apartment, while he was cooking. Over that time we've received no updates on the status of the investigation or answers to questions we have been asking. I came in from out of town today to meet with the Bronx DA's office to get answers and was accompanied by my support team, including my attorney and two community organizers from the Justice Committee and Communities United for Police Reform. It's been 6 months and I have still not seen the body worn camera and other footage related to the killing of my son. The Bronx DA's office is withholding basic information from me, including the names of officers who killed my baby - and instead of fully updating us on the investigation and sharing footage with us, the Bronx DA's office made a political decision to refuse to let me see the footage unless I asked our organizers to leave the room. This was not acceptable since the organizers have been helping me and my family navigate this system and I want them to help me be able to contextualize and interpret footage that we would be shown. I can not believe the Bronx DA is playing politics with my son's murder instead of acting on behalf of my family and the people of the Bronx. This unprofessional treatment raises serious doubts for me about whether the Bronx DA will be fair and transparent in other aspects of this case - they have already failed to be timely.

“Kawaski was a loving, non-violent person. He loved and was loved by his family and friends. He thrived being around people and was always talking, smiling and laughing, so that we had to laugh along with him. He had a heart for health and fitness and became a personal trainer because he wanted to help people take care of their bodies, rather than have to rely on medicine. He loved dancing and in 2016, he came to New York to pursue a dancing career, with his hopes and life ahead of him. Like so many New Yorkers, Kawaski suffered from mental health issues and was living in a supportive living facility, where he should have received care and respect. Instead, he was murdered by the NYPD. We have so many questions about what happened that night, including why the NYPD even entered his apartment when he was not a threat to anyone.

“We have so many questions and yet the Bronx DA's office is shamefully stonewalling us on the most basic information.”

Statement from Royce Russell, Ellen Trawick’s attorney:  

"It's outrageous that more than 6 months after Kawaski Trawick was killed by NYPD officers, the Bronx District Attorney's office is disrespecting this family with their selective transparency – and refusing to share full updates of their investigation unless they agree to exclude members of the team representing them. This reflects complete disrespect and disregard for the Trawick family, who has been more than patient with the District Attorney - and we're concerned that this is another sign of a non-transparent, inadequate process by the Bronx District Attorney in a case that is important to all New Yorkers."

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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 policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.

CPR brings 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 unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.

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