In February 2005, after disappearing from his home in Bushwick, Brooklyn, 19-year-old Brazell's dismembered body parts were found in garbage bags strewn throughout the borough. Though his story was initially refused coverage in most mainstream media outlets, it incited responses from bloggers and activists argued that his murder received limited coverage because he was a black gay working-class male.
Rashawn's family reported that on the morning of February 14, 2005, Rashawn was scheduled to meet his accountant and then meet his mother for lunch in Manhattan. At 7:30 that morning, an unknown person rang the apartment building's security buzzer and Rashawn went down to meet him. According to other witnesses, Rashawn met a man outside his Brooklyn, New York apartment and the two men entered the subway together at the Gates Avenue J Line. Witnesses believe the two exited at the Nostrand Avenue A Line in Bedford Stuyvesant a short time later. Rashawn was never seen alive again.
- A Year After a Teenager Was Dismembered, Still No Answer , New York Times 2006-02-13
- Find his killer: Mom of butchered Bushwick man wants answers, New York Daily News 2008-08-29
- Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund to "promote critical thought about the impact of violence and intolerance, particularly upon queer communities of African descent"