The off-duty police officer charged with fatally shooting Delrawn Small in Brooklyn on July 4, 2016, said he was hit repeatedly and complained of lip pain just minutes afterward, two officers who responded that night testified on Tuesday.
The testimony of the officers and an emergency medical technician was introduced at Wayne Isaacs’ first pre-trial hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Isaacs had just finished his shift at the 79th Precinct when he and Small, 37, both stopped at a traffic light near Atlantic Avenue and Bradford Street in East New York.
The shooting was first reported as a road rage incident and police at the time said that Small punched Isaacs several times before the cop pulled his gun. But a video released afterward appeared to show Small walking up to the cop’s car and immediately being shot, stumbling back and then collapsing.
NYPD Officer John Zielin, who responded just a minute after getting a call about the shooting, said Isaacs “seemed upset” after the incident.
“He was on the phone, he was waving for us to come over,” Zielin said. “He said he was assaulted and he was punched in the face. I just asked him what happened and he said he was punched in the face, he had pain to his lip.
“I didn’t observe any injuries,” he added. “I didn’t take a good look.”
Lt. Vitaliy Zelikov testified that when he got to the scene he took Isaacs’ firearm from his holster and saw Small “on the street between two cars.”
Zelikov said Isaacs told him he’d been “struck in the face” and that he was “holding his face.”
Ebony McBride, the EMT who treated Isaacs after the incident, said the cop seemed “calm” during his patient assessment. She said she gave Isaacs an ice pack for swelling and pain to his right jaw.
Isaacs was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in September 2016. His next court appearance, the continuation of this pre-trial hearing, was scheduled for Sept. 13, with a trial expected to start in October.
Following the hearing, Small’s sister, Victoria Davis, said Isaacs is a “danger to the public” and shouldn’t be an officer.
“Delrawn should be here with us today,” she said. “It’s hard to continue going on without him.”
Isaacs’ defense attorney, Stephen Worth, said that Tuesday’s testimony shows that Isaacs was professional and did everything he was supposed to do following the shooting.
“He didn’t run, he didn’t leave, he clearly had injury,” Worth said, following the hearing. “It showed that he was entirely reasonable and followed his training.”
Small’s wife, Wenona Small, said she’s confident Isaacs will “pay for his actions.”
“It’s hard ... very hard,” she added. “I believe justice will be done.”
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.