NEW ROCHELLE, NY — A man is dead after he was shot by a New Rochelle police officer.
Kamal Flowers, 24, of New Rochelle, NY was shot once in the heart after police say he was observed holding a gun. Police later said they recovered a Ruger 9mm handgun.
EDITOR’S NOTE: we began coverage at 6 am and have been on scene and at City Hall press conference updating continuously so this post may appear a bit jumbled. We will sort it once we cut video and photos.
UPDATED: 9:39 Black Westchester is reporting the man shot by police is Kamal Flowers.
While very few details have been released yet, two uniformed New Rochelle Police Officers conducted a stop of a vehicle with two black males…The passenger was identified as Khamal Flowers by residents. and the driver (still unidentified) was shot in the foot and taken into custody…Community leaders have called Mayor Noam Bramson, Saturday morning to set up a meeting, requesting any bodycam footage and further details be released.
Talk of the Sound reported on a Kamal Flowers, then 23, in 2015 but he was born December 26, 1991. This story has been updated to clarify this is not the person who died last night.
A man named Kamal Flowers was released from custody on parole by the New York State Department of Corrections to Community Supervision according to state records on March 12, 2020. His age is listed as 24 with a date of birth of December 12, 1995.
During the press conference at noon at New Rochelle City Hall, Mayor Noam Bramson said the man who died was 24.
The incident remains under investigation by the New Rochelle Police Department, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Office of the Attorney General.
Congressman Eliot Engel has called for a state investigation into the police shooting last night in New Rochelle, requesting that Attorney General James lead the inquiry into the death of an African-American man after a traffic stop.
Community leaders have called Mayor Noam Bramson, Saturday morning to set up a meeting, requesting any bodycam footage and further details be released.
The incident is under investigation by the New Rochelle Police Department, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Office of the Attorney General. NRPD will hold a press conference later this morning.
The last officer-related shooting in New Rochelle occurred in 2013. A New Rochelle Police Officer shot and killed a mentally-disturbed man wielding a butcher knife.
Potter Avenue is closed in both directions as the investigation continues. Pierce is closed. Fifth Avenue is closed. Media outlets on scene.
A statement was issued by the New Rochelle Police Department early Saturday.
On June 5 at about 10:54 pm, two uniformed New Rochelle Police Officers conducted a stop of a Vehicle whose driver had committed several Vehicle and Traffic Law violations. The stop was conducted in the area of Potter Avenue and Pierce Street. Immediately after stopping, a passenger exited the vehicle and fled on foot. After a brief foot pursuit, one of the Officers fired his TASER , a struggle ensued and the man displayed a handgun and pointed it at one of the Officers and attempted to fire. The Officer discharged his duty weapon at the Subject, striking him once. Officers rendered medical assistance to the Subject, who was pronounced deceased while being transported by Ambulance to an area Hospital.
Police said no further information will be released at this time (as of 4:59 am)
UPDATE 7:28 PM: police have left the scene, roads now open in all directions.
@KenBuffa of WNBC got some video of last night’s response from a neighbor.
UPDATE FROM CITY HALL 11:00 AM
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson is holding a community meeting at City Hall for religious and civic leaders and elected officials now, presser to follow.
@WestchesterDA Anthony Scarpino is on hand with NRPD Police Commissioner Joseph Schaller at New Rochelle City Hall.
Reports of Shots Fired near Horton was brick through window of NRPD CIU Truck, says NRPD Commissioner Joseph Schaller.
There are records for a Kamal Flowers age 29 arrested by NRPD in 2015 and a Kamal Flowers age 24 released by NYS Corrections on March 20, 2020. Just told by elected official the man shot was 24, prior history with police, prior history with officers.
NRPD Closing off New Rochelle City Hall, parking lot closed, not clear how voters can cast ballots in school election, advise folks to avoid City Hall for now.
NRPD Tank poised and ready.
NRPD Officers suiting up.
NRPD Commissioner Joseph Schaller outside community meeting.
City Hall Press Conference
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson addressed the media at City Hall today, flanked by members of New Rochelle City Council Members, Police Officials and leaders of the Black Churches in New Rochelle.
Bramson called the past few months a season and a year of difficult challenges for New Rochelle and for our whole country.
“This may be the most painful morning I can recall in my time of service and one of the most painful I can recall in my entire life,” said Bramson.
“We are standing together united in understanding the gravity of this moment in recognizing that we are all challenged to now engage our community in a way that is constructive and respectful and honest,” he added.
Bramson said this is a moment when authentic voices are of great value.
“We come to you know in a spirit of openness and transparency and honesty,” said Bramson who later declined to answer questions about the criminal background of Kamal Flowers who was known to police and was released from state prison in March.
Bramson later, inadvertently, acknowledged that Flowers had a criminal record and was residing at Heritage Homes in New Rochelle after he was released on parole three months ago.
Bramson expressed sympathy for Flower’s family.
“Our entire community, our entire City, extends condolences to the family and loved ones of Mr. Flowers,” said Bramson.
Pastor David Randolph Holder of New York Covenant Church spoke on behalf of New Rochelle’s black clergy,
“We are in dialogue with the City,” said Holder. “They called us we appreciate that but by no means do we agree with everything that will be said.
“We are here to stand for justice,” Holder added. “We have the opportunity to turn wrong and make it right”.
Bramson provided a rundown of what occurred last night.
On Wednesday, police received a call from residents of Heritage Homes of a vehicle operating in an odd fashion, driving in and out of the complex. The vehicle was a Dodge Charger with Virginia license plates.
EDITOR’S NOTE: City officials told Talk of the Sound on Wednesday after the Police Brutality rally they had a meeting recently with residents of Heritage Homes. The basis of the meeting was residents’ complaints of not enough policing at Heritage Homes. Acting on complaints about the car with the Virginia plates was part of the commitment to be more responsive to complaints to police filed by Heritage Homes residents. As far as the gun, police say they recovered a 9mm Ruger. If that is true, that would explain Jamal Flowers running. He was out on parole, could not legally possess a weapon, and risked going back to prison if police found him with a gun.
Last night two officers in an unmarked police vehicle observed the car making several illegal traffic maneuvers. The vehicles pulled over by police. Flowers exited the passenger side and ran away. Both officers pursued around Pierce Street and Potter Avenue.
The pursuing officer became aware Flowers had gun. The officer fired a Taser gun but it ineffective.
The police officer fired six shots. One shot struck Flowers in the armpit and struck his heart. He was transported to Montefiore Hospital New Rochelle at 11:10 pm. He was intubated. He had no pulse upon arrival and he was declared dead at 11:24 pm.
Bramson said there was audiotape of dispatch communications with the two police officers and video from a camera at a nearby business. Both will be replaced to public and press. He warned the quality was poor but would be enhanced.
The shooter has been on the force for 5 years, the other officer for 3
Bramson said he spoke to the Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino and New York State Attorney Tish James.
“The City stands ready to partner fully with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Attorney General a comprehensive and thorough investigation and that it be perceived as comprehensive and thorough,” said Bramson.
Bramson noted it has been 7 years since a New Rochelle police officer discharged their weapon in any setting.
Bramson said the pain of the incident was intensified by what is going on in the rest of the country.
“However this case is about the fact that at the age of 24, a young man had an appointment with a bullet that snuffed out his life is a profound tragedy, it represents a failure of our community and a failure of our country because no such incident occurs in a vacuum it is the culmination of life experiences, of opportunities, and constraints, and challenges and things that hold us back all attributed to that moment.”
“This is a moment when anger and love are both required,” he said.
Talk of the Sound asked the Mayor about dashcam video or body cam video.
Bramson said only patrol cars have dash cams. NRPD officers do not have body cams.
“It’s fair to say that we wish footage were available it would be very helpful,” said Bramson.
Talk of the Sound asked the Mayor if Flowers had a prior criminal history and had been recently released from prison.
“In my view, it’s simply not relevant to the matters before us right now. There is no prior record that would justify an event of this kind.” said Bramson “The only thing that could explain it would be an officer’s true perception that their life and safety was at immediate risk, The officer was in no position to know whether Mr. Flowers had a prior record”.
Police Commissioner Joe Schaller said police said someone else was driving the vehicle
“They left the scene of the crime…I should say incident..and we have not been able to connect with them,” said Bramson.
Schaller vehicle left the scene, we don’t know who was in the car.
This is something that all police departments in the area have been very alert to because there had been reports of people coming in particularly from outside the state with out of state plates particularly temporary Jersey plates and tinted windows…the car had tinted windows.
Fled down Pierce Street, across Potter and on to Sharot Street.
Statement from New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson
The City will continue to cooperate fully with County and State officials to ensure a thorough, open, and transparent investigation. But our challenge extends further. This tragic event, which would be traumatic under any circumstances, comes at a moment of intense local and national focus on issues of police violence and systemic racism. All of us are called to work together, alongside community leaders and advocates, to pursue the broader cause of racial justice and peace in New Rochelle. That work has already begun and now it will be pursued with even greater urgency.”
Statement from Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino
The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office is investigating a fatal police-involved shooting in the City of New Rochelle late Friday night. As per protocol, we are working with the Attorney General’s Office, which will make a determination on whether or not they will take the case, pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order.
Our Office is conducting an independent thorough and transparent investigation and we have called upon the New Rochelle Police to release any and all video of the shooting.
Statement from New Rochelle Police Department
Update – The deceased is Kamal Flowers, aged 24 of this city. The vehicle being sought is a 2019 Black Dodge Sedan Virginia registration UPF1991. Below is the Ruger 9mm handgun, magazine and rounds recovered.
Statement from Congressional Candidate Jamaal Bowman
I’m so upset about another horrific incident in our community. We are going through so much already. There needs to be an immediate state investigation into this police killing of a Black man, Kamal Flowers, in New Rochelle.Statement from Rep. Nita LoweyI’m heartbroken to learn Kamal Flowers, who was only 24 years old, was killed by an officer of the New Rochelle Police Department. My prayers are with the Flowers Family and the New Rochelle community as they mourn this tragedy.
The reality in the United States is that Black people are more likely to be reported to law enforcement, and those resulting encounters disproportionately take a deadly turn. That is why I commend New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson for his swift and full-throated commitment to a transparent, open, and thorough investigation, which I hope New York State Attorney General James and her office will conduct expeditiously.New Rochelle Huguenot Park rally after fatal police-involved shooting
His brother, Henderson Clarke, was surrounded by loved ones at a Saturday afternoon barbecue in the primarily black neighborhood outside of the Heritage Homes that the community organized to mourn Flowers. One man handed out candles for a memorial.
“He was gentle giant,” Clarke said. “He had a passion for his music, he was a rap artist. He concentrated on his music and his kids. He always talked about his kids, and he came from a structure of love.”
Henderson Clarke, a New Rochelle resident, was one of the suspects who remained at large. In a criminal complaint, Antonini swore that Clarke sold drugs to an undercover officer at the address of a gas station in Mount Vernon the previous year.
From the outside, the case did not look good for Clarke. He had a history of dealing, and after the May 2018 announcement the then 41-year old failed to come in voluntarily. Police eventually arrested him over a year later.
Clarke says he was innocent and that he was not going to turn himself in for a false charge. In the years before his arrest, he had turned his life around, he claimed, holding down jobs at a group home and a moving company.Statement from New Rochelle Schools Superintendent and the Board of Education President and Vice PresidentThe City School District is heartbroken by the news of last night’s police shooting which resulted in the death of a Black man during these difficult and challenging times. While we wait for updates on the details, we encourage everyone to remain united as we keep the family in our thoughts and prayers.
Hello my name is Starr. My brother was killed by the police department of New Rochelle on June 5 at approximately 10:24pm. On the way to the hospital he was pronounce dead. He was 24 years old and left behind two small children. He was a playful and a loyal person. The police are still “investigating” the “incident”. We do not have the funds to bury him and I am asking you to please donate to his funeral cost. No amount is too small and it is extremely appreciated.
JUSTICE FOR KAMAL
Graffiti on Building on Scene of Police-Involved Shooting (Sharot Street, New Rochelle, NY)
NRPD Audio Dispatch to Officers Involved in Shooting
City of New Rochelle Police Benevolent Association Statement in Response to the Officer-Involved Shooting Death of Kamal Flowers
The men and women of the City of New Rochelle Police Benevolent Association wish to publicly address the shooting death of Kamal Flowers by a New Rochelle Police Officer in the evening hours of June 5, 2020.
No one in the NRPBA celebrates the loss of any life. Yet we are grateful for the extraordinary bravery demonstrated by our fellow officers who pursued a suspect armed with a deadly weapon in an exceptional effort to keep the streets of this community safe. The statement issued by the New Rochelle Police Department indicates that Mr. Flowers pointed an illegal handgun – which was recovered at the scene along with several rounds of ammunition – at our fellow officer and tried to kill him with it. We are supremely grateful that our brother survived this life-threatening encounter.
Mr. Flower’s criminal background IS relevant to the gravity of the threat he posed when he pointed his illegal handgun at our brother: having been released from state prison in March following his conviction for a violent gunpoint robbery, he was a felon in possession of an illegal weapon in contravention of his parole conditions as well as state and federal law. If apprehended, he was facing a lengthy prison sentence. Our brother officer was indeed unaware of this fact when he attempted to apprehend Mr. Flowers: Mr. Flowers was not. His extensive criminal history explains why he was apparently willing to pay any price to escape apprehension, including the life of a police officer.
The New Rochelle PBA has a long and strong relationship with the community we serve. We were among the first police organizations to condemn the officers responsible for the reprehensible death of George Floyd. We have no tolerance for unnecessary use of force against any of our citizens.
This incident should not be the basis for acts of retaliation against any member of your police force; we ask all of our citizens “if you hear something, say something” and notify the NRPD if you become aware of any threats to any member of your police department.
Despite the tragic outcome, we stand by the actions and efforts of our police officers. We believe our officers make every effort to determine the parameters of their authority, and believe that, in this matter, they acted within the limitations of the law and pursuant to their lawful police authority.
Detective Christopher T. Greco, President
Detective Liliana Sanchez, Vice-President
UPDATE 6/8: NRPD Complaint Records
The New Rochelle Police Department citing records protection statutes under New York State Civil Rights Law will not release records of complaints, if any, against the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of Kamal Flowers on Friday.
NRPD Officer Who Shot Kamal Flowers is Alec McKenna, sources.
New Rochelle Police Officer Alec McKenna has been identified as the New Rochelle Police Officer who shot and killed Kamal Flowers.
McKenna was appointed to the Department on July 29, 2015. Officer McKenna is an active Army reservist.
In 2019, at the 2019 NRPD Annual Memorial & Awards Ceremony, McKenna received numerous commendations including two Commendation Awards, a Lifesaving Award, and One-Year Perfect Attendance Award. At the time, he was one of the Department’s Field Training Officers and was then assigned to the third tour in the Police Services Division.
Police Officer Alec McKenna graduated from the Westchester County Police Academy in 2015.
Alec McKenna was among 11 police officers who graduated from the Westchester County Police Academy on Friday, December 18th, 2016 then joined the New Rochelle Police Department after 20 weeks of training at the police academy in Valhalla.
“I’m very excited to have a group of fine young people join us in serving the residents of our City. They will be the foundation of our new community policing model which will bring a true partnership between the police and community”, says then New Rochelle Police Commissioner, Patrick J. Carroll.