A Brooklyn jury voted on Monday not to convict an off-duty police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man in Brooklyn last year after they stopped at a red light.
The case was the first that 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.
“We are disappointed by the verdict, but we respect the jury’s determination and thank them for their service,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “I also want to thank the family of Delrawn Small for their courage and perseverance in the face of tragedy. My office will continue to investigate these cases without fear or favor and follow the facts wherever they may lead.”
Officer Wayne Isaacs was 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.
The shooting was first reported as road rage, but surveillance video released afterward appeared to show Small walking up to Isaacs’ car and immediately being shot before stumbling back and collapsing.
Isaacs, who is also black, has said he was hit repeatedly by Small and complained of lip pain.
Small’s brother and sister, Victor Dempsey and Victoria Davis, said in a statement Isaacs is being treated as above the law.
“Nothing can bring Delrawn back or fill the void in our hearts and lives from our brother being taken from us by this senseless murder,” they said. “We are devastated and outraged that the jury failed to ensure justice by not holding NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs accountable for murdering our brother.”
They called on the NYPD to fire Isaacs from the department, saying that he is “trigger-happy.”
A representative for the NYPD said Isaacs “will remain on a non-enforcement duty status, without a service weapon, while the Department conducts its internal investigation … Any further disciplinary action to be taken in connection with this matter will be based on the findings and recommendations made at the conclusion of the Departmental inquiry.”