By JB Nicholas
The NYPD officer who shot Delrawn Small to death last July 4 — and then strolled casually over to his body and back to his car without assisting the mortally wounded man — was acquitted of murder and manslaughter by a Brooklyn jury today.
Officer Wayne Isaacs walked free out of the courtroom to jeers of “Murderer! Murderer! Murderer!” as Small’s girlfriend, family and friends cried, hugged and consoled one another.
“What the fuck! You’re a murderer!,” Hawk Newsome, a Black Lives Matter organizer shouted. Turning to the jury, Newsome said “You [jurors] all are murderers. How could you let him free?”
The case was the first homicide prosecuted under a 2015 Executive Order issued by Gov. Cuomo, directing New York’s Attorney General to investigate killings of unarmed civilians by law enforcement officers, but the office’s prosecutors failed to convince a jury that Isaacs was not defending himself when he shot Small to death.
Isaacs was driving to a holiday barbecue after completing an eight-hour shift at the 79th Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant and was stopped at a red light on Atlantic Avenue when, prosecutors admitted, Small got out of his car and approached Isaacs because the off-duty officer had cut him off on the road.
Isaacs, 38, testified in his own defense and said he shot Small because the 37 year-old punched Isaacs in the face.
“You could tell he was upset with me. At that time of the night, in that area of East New York, you know, I thought maybe he recognized me from a previous arrest or was a carjacking, could tell he was in a rage coming at me,” he testified, according to the New York Daily News.
“At that point, I thought I was going to lose my life,” Isaac added. “Delrawn Small struck me, that’s the only reason I had to stop the threat of me losing my life.”
But Small’s girlfriend, Zaquanna Albert, who was in the car that night with Small and was a witness to the shooting, said “The only violent person that night was Isaacs.”
After the verdict Small’s brother, Victor Dempsey, held his infant child outside the courtroom and cried. “How the hell am I supposed to feel now?”
Isaacs became an NYPD officer in 2013. He now faces the NYPD’s administrative disciplinary process.