Family of Win Rozario Speaks Out

By Celia Bernhardt |

Win Rozario’s father, brother, and mother stand in front of a crowd of supporters. Credit: Celia Bernhardt

The family of Win Rozario, a 19-year-old Bangladeshi Ozone Park resident killed by the NYPD, is speaking out. 

A well-attended press conference on Wednesday, May 8 at the steps of City Hall marked the first time Rozario’s parents and 17-year-old brother, Ushto, had spoken publicly about his death. With a crowd of activists and Bangladeshi community members standing behind them, the Rozarios called for the prosecution and immediate suspension of NYPD officers Salvatore Alongi and Matthew Cianfrocco. They also said that they were “treated like criminals” by the police in the wake of the shooting, and were locked out of their home for two days. 

“The past 22 days have been hell for us,” Ushto Rozario said to the crowd. “I’m really angry and disgusted that the people that’s supposed to serve and protect us are the ones that’s killing us.”

Win Rozario was killed on March 27 after police received a 911 call about someone in mental distress at his residence. Body camera footage released on May 3 shows a rapid escalation in officers’ interaction with Rozario and his family — Alongi and Cianfrocco were in the apartment for under three minutes before they fired at the teen. Upon seeing the officers, Rozario grabbed a pair of scissors from a kitchen drawer and moved towards them. They immediately Tased him. Win’s mother, Notan Eva Costa, held onto him as the Tasers were in effect. She restrained him and stood in front of him, telling officers not to shoot. They repeatedly shouted at her to move out of their way; when she did, they immediately deployed Tasers again on Win, who was at that point standing still. While being Tased, Win again picked up the scissors and came towards officers. The officers then fired. Eva Costa ran to shield her son’s body from the police, and Ushto held onto Eva Costo to shield her. When Win was out of their embrace and standing up in the kitchen, officers again fired at him, multiple times, from the living room. 

The Attorney General’s Office is investigating the incident. 

In a May 3 statement, the NYPD wrote that Alongi and Cianfrocco remain on modified assignment — not carrying firearms or a shield. 

At City Hall, the Rozarios all demanded the officers be immediately suspended without pay, prosecuted, and fired. 

“Modified duty isn’t enough — it’s a joke,” Ushto said. “They’re a danger to all New Yorkers and I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”


Ushto Rozario, Win’s brother, speaks to the crowd. Credit: Celia Bernhardt

The family also detailed what they described as mistreatment from the police immediately following Win’s death. 

“They made us go to the police station right after they killed my brother. I had shorts on and it was freezing cold outside,” Ushto said. “They didn’t even let me put clothes on.”

Ushto went on to describe the officers talking casually about their weekends while driving the family to the precinct. He said that he and his parents were treated like “criminals” when they arrived. 

“They threw us in an interrogation room,” Ushto said, “They investigated my mother for hours, even in the state that she was in…They investigated me, a minor, without my parents’ consent.”

The Rozarios said they were barred from re-entering their house for 48 hours, and were not able to retrieve their pet cat or their medications. 

“It was a rainy day,” Francis Rozario, Win and Ushto’s father, said. “They did not offer any shelter for us. We even tried to tell them that our cat was in the house alone but they did not care.” 

Ushto said his family only gained access to their house once the Justice Committee, an activist organization, requested help from the Public Advocate’s Office. 

Win’s blood had not yet been cleaned from their home, multiple speakers said. It was Desis Rising Up and Moving, another local organization, that helped sanitize the space for the Rozarios to re-enter. 

“The family is still living in the same home where Win was murdered. Win’s mother still has to cook in that same kitchen where the NYPD shot her son in front of her,” Simran Thind, an organizer with DRUM, said. “We cannot let them live and suffer in that same home that the NYPD made hell for them.”

Credit: Celia Bernhardt

The Rozarios praised Win’s character, painting a picture of a sensitive, dedicated teen. 

“He was very smart and very curious,” Francis Rozario said. “Very organized, and he had a strong sense of right and wrong. He always wanted to do what was right but did not care about getting credit for it. When we were walking on the street, if he saw litter, he would pick it up and put it in the trash.”

Ushto said his brother was “determined and disciplined.”

“When we first moved to the country, we didn’t really know what basketball was,” Ushto said. “And when we used to play basketball, people used to make fun of us on the court. So Win spent months training himself so he could be better than the people that he played with. And in a few months, he became better than the people who played for their whole life.”

Eva Costa spoke about her son’s dreams for the future. 

“Win wanted to join the military and dreamed that afterwards, he would save up to have a farm. He was very disciplined when he took exams; he would be very focused and do very well. He told us he wanted to join the military because he wanted to do something for this country. He would cook for me and help keep everything at home neat. That is who the police stole from us,” Costa said. 

“Win was quiet and polite,” she continued. “He was always helping me. When I made new handicrafts with beads, he would help me, and his face would shine because he was happy for me and happy to be with me.”

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