The NYPD Claims Killing of Kawaski Trawick 'Appears To Be Justified'

The NYPD Claims Killing of Kawaski Trawick ‘Appears To Be Justified’

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The New York Police Department says the 2019 killing of Kawaski Trawick “appears to be justified.”

Trawick was shot and killed in his Bronx apartment by a New York Police Department officer on April 14, 2019. The NYPD said Trawick charged at officers with a knife. However, the video of the shooting shows Trawick repeatedly asking the unexpected police “why are you in my home?” before being killed.

Trawick was holding a wooden stick and a kitchen knife and within two minutes a police officer fired four shots, including one that pierced his heart, which killed the 32-year-old personal trainer and dancer.

Police have said Trawick “ escalated” the situation and that one officer then shot Trawick over his more-experienced partner’s objections.

While the NYPD has never released video of the shooting, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office released footage of it last month, along with a detailed report. 

However, news outlet, ProPublica obtained parts of the videos, which it analyzed that the officer— 

  • Had filed to use techniques from NYPD’s crisis intervention training program to de-escalate the confrontation with Trawick.
  • The more-experienced officer, Herbert Davis, who is Black, repeatedly told his partner, Brendan Thompson, who is white, not to use force against Trawick.
  • Thompson instead opened fire on Trawick, first with a Taser and then with a gun, killing Trawick.

The footage released by his attorney shows the officers opening Trawick’s door then standing in the doorway telling Trawick to put down his knife. He responded, “ I have a knife because I’m cooking. As police asked Trawick to put his knife down, he says, ”Hold it, hold it hold it, the center, the center, the center, of the brain.” Police tased him to the ground as he was speaking.

Trawick got up and said, “I’m going to kill you all! Get out!” Officer Brendan Thompson then fired the fatal shots. 

Police described Trawick as “emotionally disturbed.”