Colleagues, officials remember Councilmember James E. Davis nearly 20 years after his death

Davis was fatally shot by political rival Othniel Askew in the chambers balcony at City Hall on July 23, 2003.

Phil Taitt and Rob Taub

Jul 21, 2023, 2:44 AM

Updated 304 days ago

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Colleagues and officials remembered Councilmember James E. Davis as this Sunday will mark the 20-year anniversary of his death.
Davis was fatally shot by political rival Othniel Askew in the chambers balcony at City Hall on July 23, 2003.
“Tears are flowing,” said James E. Davis Stop Violence Foundation Executive Director Geoffrey Davis, James’ brother. “So, when I’m driving to City Hall, I heard on the radio James Davis was fatally shot.”
“I crouched down and when I looked, I saw him shooting James,” Councilmember Charles Barron recalled. “Shooting downward. A silver gun it looked like. And then I was watching that. The detective guarding the speaker. He came in the chambers and shot up and hit the guy.”
Davis was a public servant, and previously served as a NYPD officer. He took on hot button issues from gun violence, challenging large retailers selling realistic appearing toy guns to launching the landmark anti violence group “Love yourself, Stop the violence” as crime rates soared.
“His commitment to those who were victims of violence in our neighborhoods, and he made that commitment,” said Davis. “That annual march put him on the minds of people, and he used that to get elected.”


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