Progressives blast Adams, NYPD after cops involved in man's 2019 death not disciplined

NEW YORK — A group of progressive politicians and criminal justice advocates blasted Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Ed Caban on Monday over what they see as the NYPD’s “shameful” decision to not discipline two officers involved in the fatal shooting of Kawaski Trawick.

The NYPD announced late Friday afternoon that the officers, Brian Thompson and Herbert Davis, wouldn’t be fired or otherwise reprimanded because Caban had concluded they “acted within the law” during an April 2019 incident that culminated in Thompson, who’s white, fatally shooting Trawick, who was Black, in his Bronx home.

Gathered outside City Hall on Monday afternoon, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, members of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus and police reform advocates voiced outrage over Caban’s decision and argued Adams is equally responsible as the city’s top elected official. Williams said the city should enact legislation to strip the NYPD of the power to decide whether an officer should be fired.

Bronx Councilwoman Pierina Sanchez, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood where Trawick died, said it was particularly egregious that the Police Department waited until late on a Friday afternoon to announce the cops wouldn’t face repercussions.

“Come out here and face us, face these families,” Sanchez said. “This is infuriating, this is demoralizing.”

Ellen and Rickie Trawick, the victim’s parents, weren’t at the rally, but a representative read a statement from them that called out the mayor for never meeting or speaking with them.

“Mayor Adams should be ashamed of himself as a father and as a Black man,” the statement read. “And the fact that Adams didn’t even let my family know of this decision before making it public is the height of disrespect. … The disregard they have for our son’s memory, to make this decision as part of a late Friday news dump on the five-year anniversary of his death is disgusting and shameful.”

City Hall issued a statement from the mayor that called Trawick’s death “a tragedy.”

“It is vital that we all learn from this loss of life and use it to make positive strides towards better policing and care for those living with severe mental illness,” the statement read.

Thompson and Davis responded to Trawick’s home in a supportive housing complex on April 14, 2019, after he had called 911 to report he’d been locked out of his apartment.

Once police arrived, Trawick had made it into his apartment. Still, Thompson and Davis pushed the door open to find Trawick shirtless with a knife in his hand.

Body camera footage released by the NYPD showed Trawick asking the officers why they were in his home and telling them he was holding a knife because he was cooking dinner. As Trawick moved toward the officers, Thompson fired his Taser at Trawick and then fatally shot him four times with his handgun, even as Davis urged him to not use the weapon.