***Story updated at 1:21 pm, Saturday, June 6, 2020***
A Black Male is dead after a traffic stop in New Rochelle turned into a deadly confrontation with a gun, late Friday night.
While very few details have been released yet, two uniformed New Rochelle Police Officers conducted a stop of a vehicle with two black males. Police say had committed several Vehicle and Traffic Law violations, in the area of Potter Avenue and Pierce Street about 10:54 pm Friday night.
“Immediately after stopping, a passenger exited the vehicle and fled on foot. After a brief foot pursuit, one of the Officers fired his taser, a struggle ensued and the man displayed a handgun and pointed it at one of the Officers and attempted to fire,” New Rochelle Captain Cosmo Costa shared with Black Westchester. “The officer discharged his duty weapon at the individual – who resident tell Black Westchester was an emotionally disturbed individual – striking him once. Officers rendered medical assistance to the individual, who was pronounced deceased while being transported by Ambulance to an area hospital.”
UPDATE: The passenger was identified as 24-year-old Kamal Flowers (father of three) of New Rochelle. Sources originally told BW, the driver (still unidentified) was shot in the foot and taken into custody. NRPD would not confirm or deny but informed that the vehicle being sought is a 2019 Black Dodge Sedan Virginia registration UPF1991. We have since learned the driver is still at large.
Police said a Ruger 9mm handgun, magazine and rounds were recovered. The officers were put on administrative leave.
Mayor Noam Bramson said at a Saturday morning news conference, there is an audiotape and video of the incident, which will be released to the public. He also said police were not wearing body cams.
“The City will continue to cooperate fully with County and State officials to ensure a thorough, open, and transparent investigation,” Mayor Bramson shared. “But our challenge extends further. This tragic event, which would be traumatic under any circumstances, comes at a moment of intense local and national focus on issues of police violence and systemic racism. All of us are called to work together, alongside community leaders and advocates, to pursue the broader cause of racial justice and peace in New Rochelle. That work has already begun and now it will be pursued with even greater urgency.”
New Rochelle Police Commissioner Joseph F. Schaller informed that they had received a call about the vehicle the night of Wednesday’s rally in the city. He said police were on the lookout for the car when it was spotted Friday night.
The incident remains under investigation by the New Rochelle Police Department, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Office of the Attorney General.
“We in dialog with the city, we’re in communication with the city,” Rev. Dr. David Holder, Pastor of New York Covenant Church (500 Main Street New Rochelle) shared at the press conference. “They called us and we appreciate that… it’s an important time for us to be here to stand for justice, cause that’s what we’re here for. We are here to make sure there’s justice and compassion.
Flower’s brother, Henderson Clarke, was surrounded by loved ones at a Saturday afternoon barbecue in the primarily black neighborhood outside of the Heritage Homes that the community organized to mourn Flowers. One man handed out candles for a memorial.
“He was gentle giant,” Clarke told Lohud. “He had a passion for his music, he was a rap artist. He concentrated on his music and his kids. He always talked about his kids, and he came from a structure of love.”
Minister Mark Mclean, president of the city’s chapter of the NAACP, said the incident presents a real challenge for the city and the city’s leadership.
“I pray that God would administer to the family. It’s a tremendous loss for any family,” Mclean told Lohud. “I pray that the community can absorb this loss without becoming destructive and I pray that God can heal our community. It’s a challenge to the city and the city’s leadership to really reach out to the black community at this time.”
The last officer-related shooting in New Rochelle occurred in 2013. A New Rochelle Police Officer shot and killed a mentally-disturbed man wielding a butcher knife, Talk Of The Sound reported.
Congressman Eliot Engel called for a state investigation into the police shooting last night in New Rochelle, requesting that Attorney General James lead the inquiry into the death of an African-American man after a traffic stop.
“Particularly in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, as so many people are marching for justice peacefully, our community and our district deserve a thorough and independent investigation that local law enforcement may not be able to carry out completely in this environment. The involvement of the Attorney General and her office is vital to providing impartial answers to the community, and ensuring justice in this case.”
Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story. Refresh your page throughout the day, story will be updated as more information is made available.