Gregory Chavis, 19

Brooklyn, New York
October 22, 2004

Agencies: New York Police Department NYPD

Cause of death: Shooting

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Last updated: over 5 years ago


Danette Chavis stood in New York City’s Union Square today and told her story to a crowd of supporters gathered in protest in spite of the rain. She recounted the death of her son Gregory Chavis, who died of a gunshot wound just a block from Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. He was 19.

Police allegedly demanded that the friends attempting to take him to the hospital put him down. After 30 minutes, he died on the curb with the hospital in plain sight. Ten years later, surrounded by the family members of other New Yorkers mourning their loved ones, Chavis is still waiting for something to change.

For 18 years, organizers and activists like Chavis have marked Oct. 22 as a day for communities to speak out against police brutality and mass incarceration. The day's call for justice felt especially poignant as Americans mourn the shooting in Ferguson, Mo., of 18-year-old Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson.