More than a year after 32-year-old Kawaski Trawick was shot twice in his own apartment by two NYPD officers, the Bronx District Attorney said Thursday that investigators found no criminality in Trawick's death.
Trawick's mother, Ellen Trawick, said she was "heartbroken and outraged" that Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark chose not to charge Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis for shooting and killing Trawick while he was cooking in Morris Heights apartment on April 14, 2019.
Records showed that Trawick had called the fire department that night because he feared the food he was cooking was on fire after he got locked out of his apartment. Separately, the building superintendent had call 911, saying Trawick was banging on doors, harassing neighbors.
When the FDNY arrived, firefighters opened Trawick's door and he was able to get back inside without incident.
Minutes later, police arrived and officers Thompson and Davis tasered Trawick after he came at them with a wooden stick and a knife, police said. Trawick fell to the ground and when the officers moved in to arrest him, he got up and threatened the cops, the NYPD said. Thompson later fired his gun at Trawick, striking the dance aerobics instructor twice. Trawick died at Bronx Lebanon Hospital.
Ellen Trawick, who currently resides in Georgia, said she had traveled to meet with DA Clark's staff, reviewed the officers' body camera and listened to the 911 calls, and it was clear that there was no reason why her son shouldn't be alive today.
"The officers who killed my son escalated the situation every step of the way by opening the door to his home while he was cooking, then yelling commands at him while he was nowhere near them, then tasing him while he posed no threat, and then shooting him. They rendered no aid and let him die on the floor," she said Thursday.
She is demanding Mayor Bill de Blasio to fire both the officers involved but singled out Thompson, saying that the officer tased her son even after his partner advised against it.
Ellen Trawick remembered her son as a "loving and non-violent person" who struggled with mental health challenges.
"He was living at Hill House – which is a supportive living facility – in order to get support and care, but instead of being protected there, he was criminalized and murdered by the NYPD," she said.
DA Clark said Thursday that while the officers' action didn't warrant any criminal charges, the killing of Trawick at the hands of police "demand a thoughtful review of police procedures and training techniques."
"Additionally, as a community, we must do a better job of providing appropriate support for the residents and staff of supportive housing services in the City," Clark said in a statement.