Close Close Comment Creative Commons Donate Email Add Email Facebook Instagram Facebook Messenger Mobile Nav Menu Podcast Print RSS Search Secure Twitter WhatsApp YouTube
Stand up for journalism that holds the powerful to account.
Donate

The NYPD Said the Killing of Kawaski Trawick “Appears to Be Justified.” Video Shows Officers Escalated the Situation.

Footage shows the killing of the 32-year-old Black man in his home by a white officer — over the objections of his Black, more-experienced partner. Both officers are still on duty.

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

Kawaski Trawick was shot and killed in his Bronx apartment by a New York Police Department officer on April 14, 2019. The NYPD said Trawick had charged at officers with a knife. Video of the shooting shows the officers had 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. ProPublica separately obtained parts of the videos.

Our analysis of the footage found:

  • The officers failed 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 nonetheless opened fire on Trawick, first with a Taser and then with a gun, killing Trawick.

The NYPD has declined to answer our questions about what happened, citing its investigation, which is pending review by top officers.

Read our story on the killing of Trawick and how it reflects years of failure by the NYPD.

Maya Eliahou and Mollie Simon contributed reporting.

Protect Independent Journalism

This story you’ve just finished was funded by our readers. We hope it inspires you to make a gift to ProPublica so that we can publish more investigations like this one that hold people in power to account and produce real change.

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that produces nonpartisan, evidence-based journalism to expose injustice, corruption and wrongdoing. We were founded over 10 years ago to fill a growing hole in journalism: Newsrooms were (and still are) shrinking, and legacy funding models are failing. Deep-dive reporting like ours is slow and expensive, and investigative journalism is a luxury in many newsrooms today — but it remains as critical as ever to democracy and our civic life. More than a decade (and six Pulitzer Prizes) later, ProPublica has built one of the largest investigative newsrooms in the country. Our work has spurred reform through legislation, at the voting booth and inside our nation’s most important institutions.

Your donation today will help us ensure that we can continue this critical work. From the climate crisis, to racial justice, to wealth inequality and much more, we are busier than ever covering stories you won’t see anywhere else. Make your gift of any amount today and join the tens of thousands of ProPublicans across the country, standing up for the power of independent journalism to produce real, lasting change. Thank you.

Donate Now

Portrait of Lucas Waldron

Lucas Waldron

Lucas Waldron is ProPublica's visual investigations producer.

Portrait of Eric Umansky

Eric Umansky

Eric Umansky is a deputy managing editor of ProPublica.

Latest Stories from ProPublica

Current site Current page