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Electeds Letter to Mayor & NYPD Commissioner Re Discipline Trial for Cops Who Killed Kawaski Trawick



March 16, 2023


Mayor Eric Adams

City Hall

New York, NY 10007


NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell

1 Police Plaza

New York, NY 10038


RE: Discipline trial of Brendan Thompson & Herbert Davis for killing Kawaski Trawick


Dear Mayor Adams and Commissioner Sewell,


This coming April 14, 2023 will mark four years since NYPD Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis killed 32-year-old Kawaski Trawick, a Black, gay man who was in his home cooking when he was killed. Kawaski Trawick’s family recently learned that the police union attorneys for Brendan Thompson have requested that you dismiss disciplinary charges against both Thompson and Davis, and that you block the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) from further prosecution of them.


As elected officials who have been working for a safer and fairer city, we are concerned by this news. The 40 elected officials signed on to this letter urge you to allow the CCRB to do its job and continue with the disciplinary proceeding against Officers Brendan Thompson & Herbert Davis – as scheduled, on April 24th.


We respectfully request that you quickly reject – as soon as possible, this month -- the PBA’s latest attempt to undermine accountability so that they are not able to further delay the scheduled discipline trial. Dismissing the CCRB charges & specifications and removing the CCRB from this case at this stage, almost four years after Kawaski Trawick was killed, would undermine faith in government.


This last-ditch ploy by the police union lawyers is fundamentally unfair to the Trawick family and to New Yorkers. This request by the police union lawyers is being made two years after CCRB first substantiated charges and months after NYPD Deputy Commissioner Maldonado set the dates for the discipline trial to begin next month, on April 24th. In fact, the PBA request – made behind closed doors - is equivalent to trying to broker a last-minute backroom deal to prevent the disciplinary trial from moving forward.


There was significant misconduct in this case that was covered-up in NYPD’s early accounts – and no formal consequences. In fact, Brendan Thompson’s annual take home pay has increased by nearly $40,000 since killing Kawaski. Video that the family was able to access shows that:

  • Thompson & Davis escalated the situation at every turn, including:

    • Without justification, Davis broke the chain holding Kawaski’s door to the frame, illegally gaining entry to Kawaski’s apartment

    • Thompson & Davis refused to answer Kawaski’s basic question of why they were in his home when he was simply cooking

    • Thompson tased Kawaski when he posed no threat and then shot him soon after

  • Neither officer made any attempt to provide medical assistance or save Kawaski’s life after he was shot.


Kawaski was left to bleed out in his apartment without any assistance -- and when other officers arrived and asked if anyone had been hurt, the dehumanizing response was: “Nobody. Just a perp”.


We understand that if you deny the police union’s desperate request and allow the disciplinary trial to move forward, the Police Commissioner will still retain the final decision on disciplinary outcomes, if any.


Our request is simply that you allow the CCRB disciplinary prosecution of Thompson & Davis to move forward without interference – and swiftly deny the request by police union attorneys to remove the case from the CCRB in this final stage. If you have questions about this letter, please contact the Justice Committee, who is working directly with the Trawick family at: <cases@justicecommittee.org>.


Respectfully,


NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

NYC Comptroller Brad Lander

NYC Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams, D28

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

State Senator Jessica Ramos, 13th SD

State Senator Gustavo Rivera, 33rd SD

State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, 47th SD

State Senator Julia Salazar, 18th SD

State Senator Robert Jackson, 31st SD

State Senator Leroy Comrie, 14th SD

State Senator Liz Krueger, 28th SD

State Senator Jabari Brisport, 25th SD

State Senator James Sanders, 10th SD

State Senator John Liu, 11th SD

State Senator Nathalia Fernandez, 34th SD

State Senator Cordell Cleare, 30th SD

NYS Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, AD74

NYC Council Member Pierina Sanchez, D14

NYC Council Member Alexa Aviles, D38

NYC Council Member Althea Stevens, D16

NYC Council Member Amanda Farías, D18

NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera, D2

NYC Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, D10

NYC Council Member Charles Barron, D42

NYC Council Member Chi Ossé, D36

NYC Council Member Crystal Hudson, D35

NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez, D34

NYC Council Member Julie Won, D26

NYC Council Member Kevin C. Riley, D12

NYC Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan, D9

NYC Council Member Lincoln Restler, D33

NYC Council Member Linda Lee, D23

NYC Council Member Nantasha Williams, D27

NYC Council Member Oswald Feliz, D15

NYC Council Member Sandy Nurse, D37

NYC Council Member Shahana Hanif, D39

NYC Council Member Shaun Abreu, D7

NYC Council Member Shekar Krishnan, D25

NYC Council Member Tiffany Caban, D22


cc: Jonathan Darche & Arva Rice, Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB)

Philip Banks, Deputy Mayor



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