Contact: Andrea Mora (202) 656-9510

Mother of Kawaski Trawick Slams NYPD & de Blasio for NYPD-Produced Video of Police Killing

In response to NYPD video, Kawaski Trawick's mother demands transparency & officers be fired

New York, NY – Today, the NYPD released a NYPD-narrated and edited video of the April 2019 killing of Kawaski Trawick, a 32-year-old Bronx resident who was shot by police in his home. Trawick’s mother, Ellen Trawick, released the following statement in response to the NYPD-produced video. 

“For more than a year and a half, the NYPD has refused to fire the officers who murdered my son in his home or communicate with our family about my son’s killing at the hands of police," said Ellen Trawick, mother of Kawaski Trawick. "Now, they’ve released a video that they edited to make it seem like the murder of my son was justified and they didn't even have the decency to allow my family to view the video or footage we have been requesting before releasing it. If Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD were serious about transparency or discipline, as they say, they are, they would have allowed us to view the unedited and uncut footage before releasing their version to the public and they would have fired Thompson and Davis by now.  We are still demanding to be able to see uncut and unedited body camera footage and we are demanding both officers be fired immediately. It is wrong that Officers Thompson and Davis are allowed to see the full footage and my family is not.”


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. Kawaski asked the officers multiple times “Why are you in my home?” and explained, “I’m just cooking.” The officers repeatedly escalated the incident by breaking the chain on Kawaski's door to enter the apartment, refusing to answer Kawaski’s questions, shouting orders at him, and then tasing and killing 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 one officer had a body-worn camera.

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office announced in August 2020 that they would not seek an indictment.

To the family’s knowledge, there has been no discipline of the officers by the NYPD. The family requested that they be able to view the uncut, unedited video in addition to the NYPD-produced video prior to public release and that request was rejected. 

Kawaski was a Black queer man and reportedly a beloved member of the city’s ballroom community.

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: Kawaski Trawick