As Community Tries to Heal on 6-Month Anniversary of Officer-Involved Shooting, New Rochelle PBA President Pours Gasoline on the Fire

As Community Tries to Heal on 6-Month Anniversary of Officer-Involved Shooting, New Rochelle PBA President Pours Gasoline on the Fire

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Tomorrow will be the six-month anniversary of the death of Kamal Flowers, a 24-year-old black man from New Rochelle. Flowers was shot and killed on June 5, 2020, by New Rochelle Police Officer Alec McKenna.

McKenna is currently the subject of a departmental investigation after Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino failed to secure a Grand Jury indictment.

Ever since the shooting in June, New Rochelle Police Benevolent Association President Christopher Greco has been at war with Mayor Noam Bramson, the New Rochelle City Council, the Black Community and anyone else who might take issue with his extreme position on the shooting that occurred on the night of June 5th. Basically, Greco has portrayed the shooting of Flowers as a good thing for the community.

Greco’s main platform has been the PBA Facebook page where he has criticized City officials and trumpeted shooting incidents and arrests involving weapons.

In his most recent Facebook post, Greco uses hyperbolic and inaccurate language to describe Flowers as a “would be cop killer” who attempted to “assassinate” McKenna.

Greco’s behavior raises serious questions about his purpose which appears to be to inflame an already bad situation and to provoke attacks on police officers. Rather than cool things off, Greco comes across as determined to incite further violence.

There is no evidence that Flowers set out the night of June 5th to kill anyone, let alone a police officer, and certainly not Alec McKenna.

McKenna chased Flowers not the other way around. McKenna shot Flowers not the other way around. The justification for the traffic stop is flatly contradicted by police records.

Assassination is defined as “the act of deliberately killing a prominent person, such as a head of state or head of government… prompted by political and military motives.”

Greco has sought to justify the death of Kamal Flowers by portraying the City of New Rochelle as fundamentally unsafe — actively promoting “Gun Arrests, Attempted Murder, Mutilple Armed Robberies, Random Assaults, Shootings and a Stabbing” — on what he calls “the violent streets of New Rochelle”.

He closes ominously by telling readers to “Stay Safe during this Holiday Season while shopping downtown and throughout New Rochelle” as if anyone would want to shop in the savage, gun-ridden, dystopia described by Greco.

The City of New Rochelle and New Rochelle Police Department have aligned with Greco by putting out far more frequent press releases, publishing them on the City website for the first time ever all while stonewalling on records related to the Kamal Flowers case including a deliberate effort to illegally withhold disciplinary records for Alec McKenna.

Talk of the Sound filed a Freedom of Information request for the McKenna records on June 12th and after a week in July of admitting they had the records they failed to produce them. They have yet to be released.

Greco decried what he called the “bail reform society in which we live” while demanding more cops on the street with a logic that is as convoluted as it is tone-deaf in a post-George Floyd world.

more cops = safer streets

more cops = improved opportunities to build better relationships between the police and the community

better relationships = a safer community

There is no single member of City Council or among leaders of the Black community in New Rochelle who shares Greco’s view that “more cops” is a path towards “better relationships between the police and the community”.

“As we observe 6 months since the killing of Kamal Flowers, on a dark street in New Rochelle, we continue to pray for his family,” said NAACP NR Branch President Minister Mark McLean. “We still don’t know what truly transpired that night and because of an insensitive,  uncaring Governor; and an incompetent County DA, we may never know.  What the Black community  and the NAACP do know is that officer McKenna can never be allowed to patrol the streets of New Rochelle ever again.”

“The NRPD should be working to improve the relationship between themselves and the community, especially the Black community,” said Jamal Gill, a community organizer. “How does the statement by PBA President Greco help accomplish that goal?”

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