FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2023
MEDIA CONTACT: Eliel Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org
NYPD Commissioner Rules Against Police Union, Allowing Discipline Trial to Begin April 24th Against NYPD Officers Brendan Thompson & Herbert Davis
New York, NY – In February, the NYPD’s largest police union filed a formal request asking Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell to dismiss charges and block Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) prosecution of officers who killed Kawaski Trawick in 112 seconds, while he was cooking in his home, in 2019. Earlier this month, 40 city and state elected officials, including Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, City Comptroller Brad Lander, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and City Council Member Pierina Sanchez sent a letter to Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams, urging them to deny the PBA request. This past week, Commissioner Sewell was questioned at a City Council hearing about whether and when she would reject the PBA request. Sewell did not respond directly to the question at the hearing.
Over the weekend, Kawaski Trawick’s family was informed by the CCRB that NYPD Commissioner Sewell denied the PBA lawyers’ request, paving the way for the discipline trial of Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis to proceed on April 24th. After the NYPD refused to substantiate disciplinary charges, the CCRB substantiated fire-able charges in 2021 and is prosecuting both officers in the disciplinary trial.
Upon hearing the news of Commissioner Sewell’s decision, the Trawick family responded with the following statement:
"We're glad the NYPD decided to reject this desperate, last-minute ploy by Thompson's police union lawyers," said Ellen and Rickie Trawick, Kawaski Trawick's parents. "We hope there's no more bad-faith attempts to delay the April 24th trial because both Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis need to be fired for murdering our son."
The Trawick’s attorney, Royce Russell, stated: “We look forward to the trial commencing on April 24th.”
The Justice Committee, an organization that has been working closely with the Trawicks and has been fighting police violence for almost 40 years also responded to the news:
"Rejecting the ridiculous request by the PBA lawyers is an important step, clearing the way for the discipline trial to move forward," said Loyda Colon, Executive Director of the Justice Committee and member of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR). "While this is positive, no family should have to endure these political maneuvers and wait years after their loved one is murdered for a simple discipline trial. It's past time for the NYPD to fire Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis.”
On April 14, 2019, Mr. Trawick locked himself out of his apartment while he was cooking. The fire department let Mr. Trawick back into his apartment. Mr. Trawick was cooking in his home after the situation had been resolved, when NYPD Officers Thompson and Davis illegally entered Mr. Trawick’s apartment and killed him in 112 seconds.
After shooting Mr. Trawick, neither of the officers attempted to administer emergency medical aid. They closed the door to Kawaski’s apartment, then stood outside, leaving Mr. Trawick to bleed out on the floor.
In June 2021, the CCRB voted to substantiate fireable charges against both officers. The NYPD served CCRB’s charges on Thompson and Davis in October 2021.
In November 2022, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Rosemarie Maldonado scheduled the discipline trial of Officers Thompson and Davis to begin on April 24, 2023.
Mr. Trawick was a Black queer man, a son, and a brother, who was pursuing his dreams as a dancer, teacher, and entrepreneur in New York City.
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.