Electeds Letter to Mayor & NYPD Commissioner Re Discipline Trial for Cops Who Killed Kawaski Trawick
March 16, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams
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: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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