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Family of Kawaski Trawick says they’re waiting for justice three years after he was fatally shot by cops

Family of Kawaski Trawick seeks justice in police shooting
Ellen Trawick says she remains heartbroken as she mourns the loss of her son after the NYPD fatally shot him in his Bronx apartment three years ago.
Photo by Dean Moses

The parents of Kawaski Trawick said Thursday that they are still waiting for “accountability” three years after their son was shot and killed by two NYPD officers.

The Trawick family appeared outside of One Police Plaza on Thursday afternoon alongside their attorney, as well as Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Council Member Pierina Sanchez, to lament the lengthy court proceedings that they say continues to get delayed.

Ellen and Rickie Trawick had flown into the Big Apple on Oct. 20 from Georgia to reiterate their accusations against Police Officers Herbert Davis and Brendan Thompson, who shot their son in April of 2019. The couple alleges that the cops illegally entered their son’s home inside a Bronx supportive housing complex and shot him to death while he was cooking.

The family says the 32-year-old accidentally locked himself out of his home before firefighters let him back inside. The officers arrived after a 911 call about the incident had been placed.

Rickie Trawick, father of Kawaski Trawick. Photo by Dean Moses

Kawaski’s father emotionally recalled fond memories of his son, teaching him how to drive a boat and fish, and in those moments discussed life. He called for the officers involved in his son’s death to be removed from the force.

“Kawaski was a good, loving person with a heart of gold, he had a great relationship with me. When he was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my son,” Rickie Trawick said. “The NYPD never should have took my son’s life. There was no reason for them to kill. He was in his own home cooking. He was not a threat to either of them. Officer Thompson and Officer Davis should be held accountable. They delayed justice. They must be fired immediately.” 

Video camera footage from the incident shows Kawaski Trawick holding a knife, telling the responding officers that he is cooking and asking why they opened the door to his home.

When he refused to drop the instrument, officers tased the man. The official report then alleges that Kawaski charged at the officers with the knife, leading them to open fire on him with their guns.

Photo by Dean Moses

Officers Davis and Thompson now face an NYPD departmental trial for possible disciplinary action in connection with the case, prompting the Trawick family to come to New York Thursday and call for action. But the proceedings were adjourned for another follow-up conference on Nov. 17, with no trial date scheduled, according to the Justice Committee.

The NYPD said only, “The disciplinary process remains ongoing.” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch defended the officers in a statement, and accused the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) of exploiting the Trawick case for political purposes. The PBA charges that the case has already been adjudicated by The NYPD, during which no misconduct was found.

“The case was thoroughly investigated by both the Bronx district attorney and the NYPD’s Force Investigation Division, which found no evidence of wrongdoing by these police officers. CCRB is not claiming it has any new evidence that would change those findings. Yet another undeniable tragedy that CCRB is exploiting to advance their own agenda,” Lynch said in a statement.

Even so, Ellen Trawick lamented the latest delay in the case.

“My husband and I flew in last night for a court conference today to be disappointed and heartbroken and delayed again. Kawaski moved here to New York in 2016 to pursue his dream. My husband and I thought that we will be coming to visit Kawaski to enjoy his life here in New York City, but, instead, we’re here to mourn the loss of his life due to NYPD Herbert Davis and Brendan Thompson,” Ellen said, crying. “After the court conference today, they are still delaying. More delays, more delays saying that Herbert Davis needed another attorney. He had a whole year to get an attorney, but yet and still my family and I are still mourning and suffering and wanting accountability for our son.”

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Photo by Dean Moses

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