'Give me my justice.' Family of man shot by New Rochelle police addresses community

During the news conference, Jerrel Garris' father claims he would never have tried to pull a gun on an officer.

News 12 Staff

Jul 7, 2023, 6:54 PM

Updated 289 days ago

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The family of Jerrel Garris, a 37-year-old man who was shot by police in New Rochelle on Monday, addressed the community Friday for the first time since the incident.
An emotional news conference was held as Garris' father, Raymond Fowler, spoke out about what happened to his son and how he is doing now.
Following the news conference, people migrated over to a supermarket on the corner of North and Lincoln avenues.
It was the scene where police originally responded to the 911 call that led to the shooting.
The group protested in front of the store. They tell News 12 they are furious at the employees for calling police in the first place.
Bodycam footage released by the New Rochelle Police Department shows police officers Kari Bird and Gabrielle Chavarry, along with Detective Steven Conn, confronting Garris on Lincoln Avenue and asking about stolen food.
A struggle broke out and Conn can be heard calling for the officers to use a Taser on Garris but the footage cuts out before the shooting.
Police say Garris reached at one of the officer’s guns, which is when one round was fired at Garris.
All three have been placed on paid administrative leave and Conn's lawyer has yet to release a statement.
During the news conference, Fowler claims he would never have tried to pull a gun on an officer.
Garris suffered from some mental illnesses, including schizophrenia. The family says that police in the area knew of him.
"Time and time again. You turn on the news and Black man shot, Black woman shot, Black child shot. You tried to take my son away from me. My one and old son. You're going to give me my justice," Fowler said.
Fowler added that these are not the actions of his son. Community activist Rev. Kevin McCall said he was unarmed.
Now the family, their lawyer, activists and local residents are calling for justice
"We don't trust the narrative given by the police, who were there, that he reached for a gun. We don't trust it. We have heard that before. We hope with independent witnesses [that] we can get to the truth," said Sanford Rubenstein, the lawyer who is representing Garris' family.
"The New Rochelle Police Department has to pay for what has happened to this young man," McCall said.
Family representatives are also mad at the local grocery store where the theft incident allegedly happened. A protest was held outside of the closed store, but McCall called for its permanent closure.
The Westchester district attorney is conducting an investigation.
Rubenstein is asking eyewitnesses to reach out to them. He is also calling for the full bodycam footage to be released, saying what they released is not enough.
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