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Mother of Black Gay Man Killed by NYPD Outraged At News of More Delays in Discipline Trial of Cops


Kristine Mikkelsen,

Eliel Cruz,


April 4, 2023

Mother of Black Gay Man Killed by NYPD Outraged At News of More Delays

in Discipline Trial of Cops

New York, NY - Today, Ellen Trawick, the mother of Kawaski Trawick, a Black gay man killed in 2019 by NYPD Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis in his own home, released the below statement following an NYPD pre-trial disciplinary hearing. Mr. Trawick was cooking at home in his Bronx apartment when Thompson and Davis broke the chain on his apartment door, tased him, and killed him - within less than 112 seconds. A discipline trial of the two officers has been scheduled to begin on April 24th and conclude by May 3rd, since November 2022.

At the hearing earlier today, the police union attorney of one of the officers claimed that an NYPD official that the officers would like to call as a witness would be on vacation for the scheduled trial dates. The NYPD judge granted the officers’ request to begin the trial on April 24th and adjourn it for two weeks after the presentation of the prosecution––to resume on May 11th so that the NYPD official’s schedule could be accommodated, managing to truncate and delay the trial in an effort to help the officers avoid accountability in Trawick’s death. The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), which is prosecuting the case, also notified the court that the NYPD has failed to turn over training materials needed for the prosecution.

Kawaski Trawick’s family plans to travel to New York City for the discipline trial from Georgia and will now have to make multiple trips because of the adjournment. Ellen Trawick, the mother of Kawaski Trawick reacted to this news:

"It's frustrating because firing these cops keeps getting pushed back further and further. I don't understand why it's taking so long; it's been four years. They've known about the trial dates since last year, so it makes no sense that the dates are being changed now. Nothing about this is fair–they're catering to Thompson and Davis at every step without regard for the fact that they murdered my son. The fact that the NYPD still hasn't turned over some of the files to the CCRB is outrageous and makes me feel like the system is rigged against us, but we're going to keep fighting to make sure Thompson and Davis are fired."

Kawaski Trawick was a Black gay man, a son, and a brother pursuing his dreams as a dancer, aerobics, and fitness instructor in New York City when NYPD Officers Thompson and Davis killed him.

The disciplinary trial of Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis is scheduled to begin on April 24, and will be only the fourth disciplinary trial to be scheduled over the past decade against NYPD officers for their killing of a civilian. The other three NYPD trials of officers who have killed New Yorkers in the past decade were of Richard Haste for his 2012 killing of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, Daniel Pantaleo for his 2014 killing of Eric Garner, and Sgt. Hugh Barry for the 2016 killing of Deborah Danner. While Pantaleo was fired by the NYPD, Haste resigned before he could be formally fired, after receiving the trial judge’s recommendation that he be terminated. To date, no discipline decision has been made public regarding Barry’s killing of Deborah Danner, although the discipline trial occurred over a year ago, in January 2022.


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.

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