Cops who killed Kawaski Trawick acted ‘within the law’

Two New York City police officers who broke into a Bronx apartment and shot and killed a man who refused to put down a knife will not face internal disciplinary charges.

A statement Friday said officers “acted within the bounds of the law” in the 2019 shooting of Kawaski-Trawick Police Chief Edward Caban.

Caban also criticized the city’s Police Oversight Board for taking too long to file administrative charges against officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis.

Body-worn camera footage from Trawick’s apartment shows him confronting officers with a knife. new york city police
The officers ordered Trawick to put down the knife, but Trawick remained confused as to why they were there and did not comply. new york city police

On April 14, 2019, police arrived at the assisted living building after Trawick, an aspiring dancer with mental health issues, called 911 saying she had been locked out.

FDNY arrived first and helped him back inside. When officers arrived, they entered his apartment and found Trawick holding a long knife.

In body-worn camera footage released by the NYPD, a shirtless Trawick can be heard telling officers he was cooking and asking why they were in the apartment.

Trawick was an aspiring dancer until her death.

Officer Thompson first fired his Taser as Trawick approached him, then shot Trawick four times with his handgun despite his more experienced partner urging him not to use force. The incident lasted just under two minutes.

The killing of Trawick, a black man, by a white police officer sparked outrage in the city.

The Bronx District Attorney did not file charges against the officers, who were cleared by an internal investigation.

A kitchen knife Trawick was carrying when police entered his apartment.
An undated family photo provided by Ellen Trawick shows her and her son Kawaski. AP

The private agency that oversees the New York Police Department filed administrative charges against the officers, saying they should have de-escalated the situation.

However, the judge overseeing the case ruled that the commission had waited too long to bring charges against them. The committee blamed the NYPD for the delay, saying it took too long to turn over body-worn camera footage.

City Council President Adrian Adams issued a statement declaring the decision “erodes public trust.”

“At the end of the day, the Trawick family and all New Yorkers will be left without the accountability they deserve from our city’s police department,” she said. “Kawaski’s life was stolen from him. And the ripple effects of this unimaginable tragedy, compounded by the lack of accountability for the actions of police officers, only further erode public trust.”

Caban said the department currently has a policy of providing footage to the board within 90 days.