The second-degree murder trial for the off-duty officer charged with fatally shooting Delrawn Small is set to start next month, as pretrial hearings wrapped up Wednesday. Jury selection will begin on Oct. 18.
Officer Wayne Isaacs is charged with fatally shooting Small, 37, when the pair stopped at a traffic light near Atlantic Avenue and Bradford Street in East New York on July 4, 2016. Isaacs had just finished his shift at the 79th Precinct.
Small’s brother, Victor Dempsey, said setting a trial date is a step in the right direction, but it’s not the end for his family.
“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “It’s not going to be over. Unfortunately, we have to think of all the holidays that are going to come up, we have to think of the school year starting and ending for his kids. So yeah, we can get a trial and we’re asking for a speedy trial. ... What happens after that is we continue to fight. What happens after that is we continue to make sure that everyone’s held accountable, especially the NYPD, the mayor, everybody that’s part of this legal system.”
The shooting was first reported as road rage, but surveillance video released afterward showed Small walking up to Isaacs’ car and immediately being shot before stumbling back and collapsing.
At the time, Isaacs said he was hit repeatedly by Small and complained of lip pain, according to pretrial testimony by officers and emergency medical technicians. The testimony will be admissible at the trial.
Small’s sister, Victoria Davis, said his death has been devastating for the family and Small’s three children.
“He could have done anything, like drive off. Instead he decided to pull out his gun and murder Delrawn ... and leave him dead in the middle of the street, bleeding out,” she said. “The thought of that is disheartening and it’s really kind of hard to come to terms with that.”
Following the hearing, Isaacs’ attorney, Stephen Worth, said he was “glad that we’re finally able to set a trial date and move forward with this and prove Officer Isaacs’ innocence.”
The shooting was the first case Attorney General Eric Schneiderman prosecuted under the governor’s executive order giving the attorney general the ability to take over cases in which a law enforcement officer kills an unarmed civilian.