Political, Civil Rights & Local Organizations Speak Out On Killing of Jarrell Garris By NRPD Det Steven Conn

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

Residents, stakeholders, and community leaders are all coming out to speak up against the killing of Jarrell Garris, an unarmed Black man killed Monday, July 3rd by New Rochelle Police Detective Steven Conn. Garris accused of alleged shoplifting in a local store was apprehended, and killed by New Rochelle Police Det. Conn in the neck and was on brain bead and on life support for seven days and died Monday, July 10th.

Residents and stakeholders filled the New Rochelle City Council Chambers, Tuesday, July 11th to express their outrage and demands for justice for Jarrell. You can watch the video of the City Council Meeting here, public comments start at 1:40:12 into the video.

U.S. Congressman Jamaal Bowman Ed.D. (NY-16) released a statement calling for the beginning of the process of curing America of its anti-Black racism that is so intricately and intentionally woven into the fabric of every American system and institution. You can read his statement in full here.

Also, check out Toxic Policing Must Be Stopped | Op/Ed by Rev. Lane Cobb, MS CPC

The New Rochelle Branch of the NAACP released the following statement;

The New Rochelle Branch of the NAACP is outraged by the news of the police shooting of Jarrell Garris, an unarmed African American man, in the middle of the day, on Lincoln Avenue in New Rochelle, on July 3, 2023. Subsequent to speaking with Jarrell’s family, the Police Commissioner, elected officials and reviewing the released police bodycam footage, we are left with many unanswered questions. What we know is that there was a call to the NRPD over alleged shoplifting from a local supermarket. The released bodycam footage showed Jarrell calmly walking away from 2 female police officers who were trying to engage him in conversation. They were joined by a third male police officer. It is unclear how the situation escalated to the point where an officer discharged a firearm resulting in a gunshot wound leaving Jarrell hospitalized, fighting for his life. Food insecurity is not a death sentence. Mental illness is not a death sentence. We are calling for the release of the full bodycam footage and for a complete, thorough, timely, and transparent investigation into the events that transpired. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jarrell and his family at this time. 

Aisha Cook – Acting President

The African American Advisory Committee of New Rochelle, NY released the following statement on the Police-Involved Shooting of Jarrell Garris on July 9, two days before Jarrell dies from his injuries.

The African American Advisory Committee (AAAC) is shocked and stunned by the tragic events surrounding the New Rochelle police-involved shooting of Jarrell Garris, an unarmed, African American former resident.  Reports on Jarrell Garris’ condition, as of Friday, July 6th, was that he is on life-support.  The AAAC continues to meet with the City of New Rochelle, NRPD and our Community Partners to determine the full extent of what took place on July 3rd when Jarrell Garris was approached by three members of the NRPD, that resulted in a struggle in which he sustained life-threatening injuries.  The AAAC is calling for the immediate release of unedited bodycam footage of the July 3rd arrest and significant reform in NRPD’s protocols for interacting with the African American community and individuals with known mental health challenges.  AAAC will pursue its advocacy for transparency and continue to monitor the situation.

The Westchester-Putnam Chapter of the New York Working Families Party released the following statement;

The city of New Rochelle shared the following statement with Black Westchester;

“The involvement of a New Rochelle police officer in a shooting, no matter how rare, and no matter the circumstances, is a trauma for our entire community.  For the family and friends of Jarrell Garris, that trauma is infinitely more personal, and our thoughts are with them at a moment of heavy, painful grief. 

The City is dedicated to supporting a thorough outside investigation, and we welcome the engagement and leadership of the New York State Attorney General. The Attorney General now has the authority to make all decisions related to the release of any additional information, including body camera footage. The City has no objection to the release of such information, if judged appropriate by the AG.

This tragic incident raises a range of questions and concerns, many of which cannot be addressed until the AG’s investigation is completed.  Within this constraint, the City remains committed to openness, respectful dialogue, and constructive action, with the goal now and always of building a community that is safe and just for all of its residents. “

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.

Raymond Fowler – Jarrell’s father demanded justice and vowed not to go anywhere until his family get it, at a press conference in front of St. Catherine A.M.E. Zion Church, Friday afternoon, July 7th. Residents are demanding Justice For Jarrell and the release of the full body cam footage. Others have been protesting in front of the store since Friday after the news conference.

Jarrell Garris is the second Black man killed by The New Rochelle Police Department since the summary execution of George Floyd which was supposed to be the incident that brought about police reform, but here we go again.

I also expressed a few words on the matter, check out Real Talk From AJ Woodson; Jarrell Garris, #SayHisName – Westchester County Has Its Own George Floyds – When Will We Fight For Justice For Those Killed In Westchester Like We Fight For Justice For Those Killed Nationally?

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