The family of a Brooklyn man who an NYPD officer gunned down in a road rage incident broke down in tears as jurors were shown a photo of his bloody corpse.
Officer Wayne Isaacs faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of murder in what prosecutors called the “callous” and “indifferent” killing of Delrawn Small early on July 4, 2016, on Atlantic Ave. in East New York.
Assistant Attorney General Jose Nieves made his opening argument Monday in the trial, in which Isaacs claims the shooting of the 37-year-old Small was justified because he feared for his life.
Isaacs, 38, is the first cop to face trial under Gov. Cuomo’s 2015 executive order directing the state Attorney General’s office to prosecute police-involved killings of unarmed civilians.
Prosecutors plan to argue that Isaacs’ behavior was “inconsistent of someone in self-defense.”
“The defendant came out of the car, not to render aid, but to coldly walk by Small’s body, get on the phone and call 911 to allege he was attacked, punched, as Delrawn Small laid on the concrete in his own blood,” Nieves said. He told the jurors in Brooklyn Supreme Court they would watch Small’s final moments as he died between two parked cars on nearby Bradford St. after being shot three times.
“Delrawn Small’s death will play out in front of your eyes,” Nieves said. “It happened so fast, in one second, he ended his life in front of his family, stumbled a few feet and fell.”
A week went by before one of the six surveillance videos recovered from nearby businesses told a different story from the account Isaacs gave.
Small died within 15 seconds Isaacs shooting him with his Glock 26.
“He wasn’t viable, there was nothing I could do, there were no signs of life,” said FDNY EMT Catherine Renta, who put Small’s time of death at 12:13 a.m.
Isaacs was indicted on second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter charges.
Small had no idea Isaacs was a cop who had just finished a shift in the 79th Precinct. Small had gotten out of his car — leaving his girlfriend, Zaquana Albert, their 3-month-old son and his 14-year-old stepdaughter inside — and approached Isaacs’ Nissan Altima after the officer cut him off on the road.
Victim’s family allegedly threatens cop who killed Delrawn Small
As several NYPD members and various brass entered the crime scene, Albert and her children were left on the opposite side of the avenue.
Isaacs told detectives that Small punched him in the face before he opened fire. It wasn’t a case of road rage, but rather self-defense, said Isaacs’ attorney, Stephen Worth.
“This is an easy case for you. A reasonable person would do what he did … you’ll see how angry the deceased was, (Isaacs) used his weapon the way he was trained to,” Worth said. “Small was legally drunk at the time.”
He added, “Police don’t shoot to kill, they shoot to stop.”