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Around 11:00 pm on April 14th, 2019, a man named Kawasaki Trawick, 32, was tased, before being shot dead by two NYPD officers.
The 32-year-old had been locked out of his apartment while he was cooking dinner. Records obtained by NBC New York showed that he had called the fire department to help him back into his home. The superintendent of the building had reportedly called 911 because they claimed Kawasaki was harassing neighbors.
Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis responded to a call from a worker at the Hill House supportive living facility in the Morris Park section of the Bronx where Kawasaki lived and was finally let back inside of his apartment, where he was cooking dinner in his pajamas.
Why officers Thompson and Davis, who knew that they were arriving at a supportive living facility and who were both trained in “crisis intervention,” killed Kawasaki within six minutes of arriving at the non-violent scene is still a mystery. However, what is not a mystery is that neither officer will be charged for the crime of killing an Black innocent man.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark announced on Friday, over a year after Kawasaki’s murder, that the NYPD officers would not face any charges, according to NBC New York.
“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,’” the report read.
“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 told the news station.
The murder of Kawaski proves that the NYPD is supported in using marginalized people as target practice. The fact that Clark was sworn in for a second term as the Bronx DA in February 2020 is a true crime to humanity.
Clark is the same DA Kalief Browder stood before six times while he waited on Rikers Island for a crime he didn’t commit. According to the New York Daily News, when asked about seeing Kalief’s case six times between November 2011 and June 2012, Clark said: “Honestly, I cannot say that I remember it. I mean, I was there for 13 years. I sat on a lot of cases. But look, the Kalief Browder case is a tragedy. And no one should have to sit in jail for three years on a robbery case, or any type of case.”
What do we take away from this most recent example of how the criminal justice system plays hide and do-not-seek when it’s time to take accountability?
When I hear that two more police officers will walk free after murdering a Black man, I think about this. If we are going to scream, “defund the police,” we need to kneecap all the Darcel Clarks of the criminal justice system first.
The nicest thing that can be said about Clark is that she is not long-winded. She basically explains her gross mismanagement skills as ‘shit happens.’ We cannot be realistic about defunding the police when the police are defended by the same courts who prosecute them when they commit crimes.
When will we start to get more realistic about which brick to pull first in dismantling the American criminal justice system?