When the late City Council Member James E. Davis (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) was assassinated in the city council chambers on July 23, 2003, a promising political career was cut short.
Long before there were national efforts for stricter gun control legislation and groups from with the community working to stem black-on-black crime, Davis, 41, championed both stricter gun control, and founded the James E.Davis Stop Violence Foundation with his brother, Democratic District Leader Geoffrey Davis.
And this Friday PIX11 will feature James Davis life and tragic death as part of their weekly original documentary series titled, Only in New York, which explores some of the most potent cultural issues of today through the prism of New York’s dark past.
“When I first happened upon this [James] story, it had my ears perked,” said Heath Benfield, PIX11 Senior Creative Producer and Series Creator. “I began to read a lot of articles about James’ life and death. The more I learned about him the more I became intrigued. He had the enigmatic aura of a classic preacher like Al Sharpton, but he came at things from a somewhat more moderate and conservative viewpoint, which I wasn’t expecting.”
Benfield said then there was the underlying drama between Davis and his assassin, which remains mysterious.
“Why would somebody kill him and do it in such an operatic display? It was just a Greek tragedy. Here was the man committed to preventing gun violence ends up being the victim by a gun,” he said.
The documentary also explores Davis political influence including an interview with Brooklyn Borough President eric Adams, himself a former cop and others.
The documentary is set to air at 10:30 p.m., this Friday, March 29. Check out the trailer.