New York Cop Goes On Trial For Killing Delrawn Small
Delrawn Small, 37-years old, worked as a maintenance engineer at a Chelsea supermarket. He was raising three children and two stepchildren.
On July 4, 2016, Delrawn was in his car with his family when he was allegedly cut-off in traffic by Wayne Isaacs, who had just left his shift as a New York police officer. Isaacs was out of uniform, but was carrying his service weapon.
At a red light, Delrawn approached Isaacs’ car. Isaacs fired three times, hitting Delrawn in the arm, chest and abdomen, killing him.
Officer Wayne Isaacs, who joined the department in 2013, stayed at the scene and told investigators that he acted in self-defense after Mr. Small punched him through an open window.
Based on a preliminary investigation, police initially said they believed Isaacs opened fire after Delrawn reached through the officer’s open window and repeatedly hit him on the head as he sat behind the wheel. Isaacs’ claimed that he shot Delrawn in self-defense.
Then surveillance video surfaced.
The video shows that upon approaching Isaac’s car, Delrawn was immediately shot.
Isaacs was charged with second-degree murder. He was suspended with pay, and relieved of his gun and badge. An alternative charge is first-degree manslaughter. If convicted, Isaacs faces 25 years to life in prison.
Last week, a jury of 5 men and 7 women were selected. It is anticipated that they will hear testimony from 18 witnesses, review evidence and view the surveillance video. The 12 jurors consist of 5 Whites, 5 Blacks, 1 Hispanic and 1 Asian. The jury will be presented with the alternative charge of first-degree manslaughter.
Opening statements began Monday. One of Isaacs’ attorneys is Stephen Worth, who represented police officer Edward McMellon in the killing of 23-year old Amadou Diallo in 1999. McMellon was acquitted.
The defense is using a self-defense claim, saying that Delrawn was intoxicated, angry, and confrontational. However, prosecutors are focusing on the time where Isaacs alleges that he was repeatedly punched in the head giving him justification to shoot.
The prosecutor said Small was unarmed at the time of the shooting and had nothing in his hands.
“This defendant pulled out his gun and fired three bullets into Delrawn Small’s body,” Prosecutor Jose Nieves said. “The defendant pulled out his gun and pulled the trigger, not once, not twice, but three times. In one second he shot Mr. Small three times, and ended his life in front of his family.”
Isaacs then walked back to his car and called 911 to allege that he was attacked, the prosecutor said.
This is the first trial prosecuted by the New York Attorney General, who was appointed as special prosecutor in an executive order signed by the Governor for cases where unarmed civilians are killed by police officers.
Why does it appear that when people advocate against police brutality, Black lives only seem to matter when a White officer pulls the trigger or fires a tazer? The lives of people killed by Black officers don’t seem to be as important as the lives taken by White officers?
If it is wrong for a White officer to kill unarmed Black people who are not a threat, why are advocates and activists with a voice silent when Black officers do the same?
Oh, I can imagine that there are Whites who are sincere advocates against police brutality, but they hesitate to address cases involving Black officers who do the same things that White officers do for fear that they will be called that dreaded word, “racist”.
Also, I can imagine that there are Blacks who are sincere advocates against police brutality, but they hesitate to address cases involving Black officers who kill Blacks. They avoid it out of fear that it will feed the bigoted “Black on Black crime” proponents who use it to diminish the issue of police brutality upon Blacks.
If we seek equality and reform, does that not include every victim of police use of excessive force?
There are more than a hundred victims reported on this blog since 2013. In some cases, Black officers killed Whites and were acquitted. (John Wrana)
In some cases, Black officers killed Blacks and were found guilty. (Gregory Towns).
In some cases, Black officers killed Blacks and were acquitted. (Sylville Smith)
In some cases, White officers killed Whites and were not charged. (Dillon Taylor)
White officers have gone to trial for killing Whites, and juries hung, (Michael Allen).
White officers have gone on trial for killing Blacks and juries hung, (Sam DuBose).
It’s the system. Doggoneit! It’s the system. It begins with investigators and District or State Attorneys. It’s the system involving grand juries. If indicted, it’s the system involving seating a jury.
If we are to be a nation undivided wanting equality and justice for all, then we must apply the same standards, regardless of the color of the skin of the officer who took a life, or the color of the skin of the deceased.