Interview with Raymond Fowler, Father of Jarrell Garris


Raymond ‘C2’ Fowler appeared on Black Westchester’s People Before Politics Radio Show, joining Damon K. Jones and AJ Woodson on Sunday, February 4, 2024, to talk about his fight for justice and accountability for the death of his son, Jarrell Garris at the hands of New Rochelle Detective Steven Conn.

On Monday, July 3, 2023, the day before this country celebrates its independence, 37-year-old Jarrell Garris was shot and killed by New Rochelle Police Detective Stephen Conn, after allegedly stealing some fruit.

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass explained what the Fourth of July means to an African American, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour. . . .”

Garris died a week later, on Monday, July 10, 2024, and eight years later, his family is still demanding justice. Still waiting for a response from New York Attorney General Tish James, while the officers responsible for his death sit at home on administrative leave with pay.

172 years after Frederick Douglass uttered the words above, Garris’s family is still reminded of “the gross injustice and cruelty to which [Black People are still] the constant victims. Reminded of “boasted liberty,” “an unholy license,” and how the “shouts of liberty and equality” of the Fourth of July are a “hollow mockery.”

Eight months later, Raymond Fowler and his family still have not seen the boasted liberty that is celebrated every July 4th, and the celebration of the holiday will always be a sham, as Douglass described. Mr. Fowler exclusively shares his loss last summer and his unrelenting quest for justice and accountability of his son.

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.


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