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The NYPD released video Tuesday that shows the moment police fatally shot a man who was threatening them with a knife at a Bronx halfway house nearly two years ago — prompting outrage from the man’s family.
The video shows Kawaski Trawick, 32, arguing with cops while he was holding a stick and a knife on April 14, 2019, after they tried but failed to subdue him with a Taser at the Morris Heights building where he lived.
Then, when the electrical shock failed to subdue him and the confrontation escalated, one of the cops shot him.
His mother, Ellen Trawick, put out a statement soon after the video’s release slamming Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD for the 20-month delay and for not firing the cops.
“If Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD were serious about transparency or discipline, as they say they are, they would have allowed us to view the unedited and uncut footage before releasing their version to the public and they would have fired Thompson and Davis by now,” she said. “We are still demanding to be able to see uncut and unedited body camera footage and we are demanding both officers be fired immediately.”
Her son — whose Facebook page said he was an aerobics instructor — called 911 around 10:48 that night, cops said. He can be heard in the audio released by cops first complaining that someone was attacking him, then saying he couldn’t get inside his apartment and finally reporting a fire.
“If you don’t hurry up, we’re going to burn down,” Trawick can be heard saying after he was connected to the FDNY. “The building’s on fire. What do you mean ‘What’s the fire emergency?’”
The video shows firefighters breaking down his apartment door when they arrive a short time later and him briefly stepping into the hallway.
Then, the video shows Police Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis arriving at 11:01 p.m. and talking to witnesses who said Trawick was “acting erratically and threatening people,” according to cops.
At that point, the two officers went to Trawick’s door and spoke to him, ordering him to put down the stick he had in his right hand. But he didn’t comply and walked further into his apartment. Then, they notice he is also holding a knife in his other hand.
Thompson discharged his Taser at Trawick, who was momentarily incapacitated on the floor but then jumped up and began yelling “Get out, b—h!” and threatening to kill the officers.
When he aggressively approached the cops again holding the knife and stick, Thompson fired four shots, hitting him twice, cops said.
Trawick was transported to Bronx Lebanon Hospital in critical condition, where he later died.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark released the body worn camera video in November when she determined that charges were not warranted against Thompson.
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