Brooklyn Man Arraigned for Unprovoked Killing of Innocent Activist


Friday, October 20, 2023

Brooklyn Man Arraigned for Unprovoked Killing of Innocent Activist

Fatally Stabbed Victim in the Heart; Incident Caught on Surveillance Video

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that an 18-year-old Brooklyn man has been arraigned on an indictment charging him with murder for the random, unprovoked attack that killed Ryan Carson earlier this month. The attack was caught on video and additional evidence allegedly connected the defendant to the crime.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “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.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Brian Dowling, 18, of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with 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, 2023. The defendant faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on October 2, 2023, at approximately 3:50 a.m., outside of 57 Malcolm X Boulevard in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the defendant 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, the defendant 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 the victim, who was trying to deescalate the confrontation. The victim attempted to flee but fell over a bus stop bench. The defendant then allegedly ran up to him and fatally stabbed him multiple times, striking his heart, as he lay on the ground.

The defendant 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.

The defendant 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.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Matthew Perry, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini, Homicide Bureau Chief.


An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.