Seventeen-year old Antawin White was shot and killed by an off-duty NYPD detective just over one year ago. To this day, his legal guardians—the nonprofit Graham Windham, where White was in foster care—has not received the answers it says are due to it. And now, they are taking it to court.
The version of events according to the NYPD stands in stark contrast to the teenager that workers with Graham Windham knew. But, the off-duty detective and the police reports reflect that White and his friend attempted a robbery that night and that the detective acted in self-defense when he shot the teen in the chest.
Allegedly, White and his 15-year old friend approached the off-duty officer and demanded his money. The detective stated that White hit him with a cane and his younger friend “simulated that he had a gun”. Acting in self-defense, the detective says, he pulled his weapon and shot once, hitting White in the chest.
Since that night, Graham Windham has maintained this isn’t the White they knew, that the detective’s account simply didn’t make sense. To that end, as a parent would do, they requested more information. The NYPD has repeatedly ignored their requests, however, stating there is an “ongoing criminal investigation.”
Last week, Graham Windham filed a civil petition in the Manhattan Supreme Court, looking for the information they believe they are entitled to.
According to that petition:
Graham Windham respectfully requests that this court order the NYPD to produce appropriately redacted documents concerning Antawin White’s death… In its capacity as legal guardian, and de facto parent, Graham Windham sought information about the shooting by way of FOIL request to the NYPD. It received no information in response to its FOIL request.
When the police take the life of a child, you would think they would provide answers to the child’s parents or legal guardians. However, you would be wrong. The NYPD acts as law enforcers and certainly have a long way to go in acting like humans.
Perhaps things went exactly as the detective said they did. But the Departments unwillingness to assist in Graham Windham’s pursuit of closure seems to indicate a flaw in the story or simply a lack of compassion.
When you find yourself on “the other side of the law”, the police will treat you differently. You, in essence, become “the bad guy”. It’s then that you need someone looking out for your best interests. Contact our offices today. Whether you are charged with drug possession or robbery, you have rights and we may be able to help.