Friends and family of Jarrell Garris marched from Starbucks in Wykagyl on North Avenue to the New Rochelle Police Department on Friday, July 21st to honor his life. The 37-year-old unarmed Black man was shot and killed by New Rochelle Detective Stephan Conn.
Bodycam footage released by the NRPD shows officers and a detective confronting Garris on Lincoln Avenue and asking about stolen food on July 3. Police say Garris reached at one of the officer’s guns, which is when Garris was shot, but all three body cam videos shut off before the fatal shot and contradict the department’s statement.
Family members told Black Westchester, Garris suffered from mental illness and that police in the area knew of him. They are demanding Det. Conn be fired.
“Tonight, I’m really praying for unity and that people that see this march understand that this could be your son, this can be your dad, this can be your sister, this can be your brother,” said Reverend Jamel Hollis. “It’s going to be important that everybody gets involved.”
All three of the officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.
“I promise you, on everything I love, I ain’t going nowhere; I’m gonna stand on these right here (pointing to his feet); I’m standing ten toes down; I ain’t going nowhere until we get justice for my son,” Raymond Fowler, father of Jarrel (pictured above), said on the steps on the New Rochelle Police Department located at 475 North Avenue, after the march. “Yall gotta be mindful; they think we’re gonna tear up shit, we going to beat them with this (he says, pointing to his brain) and their own law. Cause they knew they violated my son’s human rights, they killed him like an animal. [Detective] Stephen Conn is a coward. Anytime you hear the code word gun, that means shoot. That’s what that is, that’s the code word for shoot. You got a taser, you got pepper spray, and you wanted to shoot him. Why? Shoot him and paralyze him instantly. On Monday I meet with the AG, but it doesn’t even matter cause at the end of the day I know who the best of planners is, it ain’t mankind, Allah is the best planner, God is the best planner and that’s who I put my faith and my trust in. they tried to smear my son talking about his charges, what about Steve Conn’s charges? How the hell did he end up being a police officer? Huh? You got an assault charge, you shooting up dogs and you still become an officer? How do you serve and protect, how is that possible? If anybody needs a psych evaluation, it’s Steve Conn. On June 9th they promoted him to Detective. So as a detective, you are supposed to de-escalate the situation, not escalate it and that’s what he did. Show all the video, show all the body cam, dont edit that shit out, let’s see all of it, show all of it. they claimed my son reached for a gun, show when yall are beating my son before you shot him. They’re not going to do that. They are trying to paint this false narrative. That’s why I made it my business to be here today and that’s why I made it business to be there when it first happened, And I aint going nowhere, as long as I have breath in my body, regardless of what the decision is, I know the law and I’m gonna do what I gotta do.” (“And we gonna be here with you,” shouted out the crowd).
“As a community, we can’t accept it,” said New Rochelle NAACP Acting President Aisha Cook at the start of the march. “We need to be out here, we need to be in force and we need to make sure that everybody knows that we do not stand for it, it’s not ok.
Distressing bodycam video captured the moment police in Westchester County fatally shot a man accused of stealing fruit – which his father described as a “modern-day lynching.”
Three New Rochelle cops — identified as Kari Bird, Gabrielle Chavarry, and Detective Steven Conn — confronted Jarrell Garris, 37, at a grocery store on July 3. Detective Conn fired one round, which hit Garris in the neck and impacted his cervical spine and spinal cord, the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office said July 12.
Garris remained in a coma and was taken off life support on July 10. His death was ruled a homicide and is being investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office.
The AG’s Office of Special Investigation takes over when a police officer may have caused a person’s death, according to state law. Stay tuned to Black Westchester for updates on this case!