NEW ROCHELLE – Tonight and in the coming days, community members and advocates will rally throughout New Rochelle in response to the killing of Jarrel Garris. On July 3, Mr. Garris, an unarmed Black man with a history of mental health issues, was shot by the New Rochelle police after he allegedly ate fruit without paying at a grocery store. He died a week later at the hospital. The New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement from Interim Field Director Brandon Holmes:
“Jarrel Garris should be alive today. Mr. Garris was a beloved son, father, and community member and we send our condolences to his family and loved ones grieving his loss. As community members channel their grief into action and rally to demand justice for Mr. Garris, we call on city officials to respect their right to protest.
“Our over-reliance on armed police as first responders turned a dispute over fruit into a death sentence. New Rochelle residents are still reeling from the police killing of Kamal Flowers in 2020, where officers turned a traffic stop deadly. These killings speak to the New Rochelle Police Department’s pattern of escalating encounters, using excessive violence, and failing to hold officers accountable for misconduct.
“We welcome the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the killing of Mr. Garris, following the relentless work of advocates to secure a Special Prosecutor for police killings. We join Jarrel Garris’s family and community in demanding that Mayor Noam Abramson and the New Rochelle Police Department release the full body camera footage. His family, the community, and all New Yorkers deserve transparency.”