PCYP Mourns Killing of Beloved Client David Felix
In yet another incident of a young black person’s life coming to an abrupt end at the hands of law enforcement, the Peter Cicchino Youth Project (PCYP) of the Urban Justice Center mourns the death of our client, David Felix. On the afternoon of Saturday April 25th, David, who was unarmed, was killed at close range by the NYPD.
At 24 years old, David had experienced the cycles of poverty and criminalization that are all too familiar to many youth of color, especially those with mental health needs. Like many of PCYP’s clients, David was targeted by the police and his life was treated as utterly disposable.
PCYP is outraged at David’s untimely death, and also at the way the NYPD and the media have tried to justify it. As a legal service provider for homeless youth, the Peter Cicchino Youth Project works with young people like David to disrupt the cycles of poverty and violence that make certain people — people of color, people with mental health needs, people with criminal records and those struggling to survive homelessness — particularly vulnerable to the type of confrontational police encounter that ultimately ended David’s life.
PCYP knew David as a thoughtful, caring and witty young man. Today we honor David’s life and mourn his death. We call on the public to honor David’s life and work to stop this ongoing culture of police brutality, which continues to result in death at the hands of state agents. All of us can take action to fight this systemic oppression:
- Work to expand services for the most vulnerable among us so that they have access to basic human rights, dignity and compassion.
- Engage in critical dialogue when reading reports about the numerous lives lost at the hands of police officers. Challenge the narrative that some people are deserving of the form of “justice” and “safety” served by our current system of policing.
- Listen to the people being targeted by this state violence so we can imagine solutions together.