Grand jury indicts 18-year-old in murder of Brooklyn activist

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Friday, October 20, 2023
Grand jury returns indictment in murder case of Brooklyn activist
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A grand jury returned an indictment Friday on the fatal attack of a Brooklyn activist.

NEW YORK -- A grand jury returned an indictment Friday charging a Brooklyn teen, Brian Dowling, with murder for the random, unprovoked attack that killed activist Ryan Carson earlier this month.

The attack was caught on video and additional evidence allegedly connected Dowling to the crime.

"Ryan Carson was a promising and passionate man who worked to make our society better. Many of us watched the horrific video that showed his life being snuffed away senselessly, for no reason at all. We will now seek to hold his alleged killer fully accountable for this unspeakably brutal murder," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said

Dowling, 18, of Bedford Stuyvesant, pleaded not guilty second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on December 8. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

On October 2 just before 4 a.m. Dowling was allegedly walking angrily and kicking parked scooters. He observed the victim, who was walking behind him with his girlfriend.

According to the evidence, which includes a clear video of the incident, Dowling turned to the victim and started yelling at him, saying, in part, "I'm going to kill you." He then allegedly swung a knife, striking Carson, who was trying to deescalate the confrontation. Carson attempted to flee but fell over a bus stop bench. Dowling then allegedly ran up to him and fatally stabbed him multiple times, striking his heart, as he lay on the ground.

Dowling allegedly flung the knife but returned moments later to retrieve it. A search revealed that a knife, believed to be the murder weapon, was hidden under greenery next to a nearby sidewalk.

Dowling turned himself in later that week. A subsequent search warrant of his apartment discovered multiple knives with similar handles to the handle of the knife that was recovered. Clothes matching the ones that the assailant was wearing in the video were also recovered, prosecutors said.

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