Jarrell Garris Dies Days After Being Shot In Neck By New Rochelle Police Det. Steven Conn, AG’s Office Opens Investigation

Jarrell Garris at a local barbershop with his son [photo courtesy of the family]

Jarrell Garris, the 37-year-old unarmed Black man shot by New Rochelle Police Detective Steven Conn on Monday, July 3 has died, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office confirmed Tuesday. The office said it will begin a formal investigation into the shooting. NRPD Detective Conn fatally shot Garris in front of St. Catherine A.M.E. Zion Church located at 19 Lincoln Avenue.

Garris was accused of eating some grapes and a banana without paying from New Rochelle Farms on the corner of North and Lincoln Avenues. Jarrell a New Rochelle native, a son, a father, a brother, and an uncle had been on life support at Westchester Medical Center following the police shooting. He died exactly one week later on the evening of Monday, July 10th, James’ office said. The Westchester County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed Garris’ death Tuesday afternoon. Garris’ family was not immediately available for comment.

After days of the New York State Police and Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah’s office investigating the incident, the case has been turned over to James’ office. State law requires the AG’s Office of Special Investigation to take over whenever a police or peace officer may have caused a person’s death. Her office released the following statement.

Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation Opens Investigation into Civilian Death in Westchester County

The New York Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) has opened an investigation into the death of Jarrell Garris, who died on July 10, 2023 following an encounter with members of the New Rochelle Police Department (NRPD) on July 3, 2023.

On the afternoon of July 3, NRPD officers responded to a complaint at a store on 33 Lincoln Avenue. When officers arrived, they encountered Mr. Garris outside the store. During the encounter, an officer fired his weapon and Mr. Garris was shot. Mr. Garris was taken to a local hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Pursuant to New York State Executive Law Section 70-b, OSI assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person, by an act or omission. Under the law, the officer may be on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may be armed or unarmed. Also, the decedent may or may not be in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer may have caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident.

These are preliminary facts and subject to change.

Jerrell was in the town for a few days to pick up his son (pictured with Jerrell above) and take him back for the summer to Greensboro, North Carolina, where Garris had been living for less than a year. They planned to head home the evening of July 3, his family said.

The family of Jerrell Garris released the following statement, Tuesday through their lawyer William O. Wagstaff

It is with great sorrow that we confirm that our son, father, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend has transitioned.

We are committed to getting Justice for Jarrell and submit that if the city of New Rochelle is sincere about it’s commitment to transparency and its not just a veneer, all videos of Jerrell’s execution should be released immediately.

The NRPD previously released the edited footage of the body cams on the three members of the New Rochelle Police Department – officers Kari Bird and Gabrielle Chavarry, along with Detective Steven Conn – that all ended before the fatal shot was fired from Det. Conn’s service weapon.

Raymond Fowler – Jarrell’s father demanded justice and vowed not to go anywhere until his family get it, at a press conference in from of St. Catherine, Friday afternoon.

There was a heavy police presence in front of and in the parking lot of New Rochelle Farms. Those demanding Justice for Jarrel vow to be in front of the store and the police station every day from 7 Am until the last upstanding citizen leaves for the day.

There is a national conversation about mental health in the Black community and whether or not incidents like this require a response from a badge and a gun. Black Westchester had a panel discussion on why African American with mental challenges are continually shot, shot at, or killed by law enforcement on our weekly talk radio show People Before Politics Radio Show, Sunday, July 9th.

Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story.