New York Cop Goes On Trial For Killing Delrawn Small

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.

Officer Wayne Isaacs

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.


Op Ed:

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.

Posted on 10/24/2017, in Cases, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. For me there is no such thing as a black cop, they are just cops. They have been indoctrinated into that police mindset otherwise they would speak out against these atrocities. I know there are some good cops but we shouldn’t assume because a cop is black his acts are less vicious.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Can’t see from the angle if the camera if there was a justifiable altercation. The cop certainly seems non-chalant though didnt try to give any type of assistance tithe fallen man (shot man)


    • The prosecutor is most likely to argue the timing. From the time that Delrawn reached the car until Isaacs shot him, was it possible for Delshawn to have punched him? In other words, there was no time for an altercation to take place. Delshawn was immediately shot.


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  6. yahtzeebutterfly

    Excerpt from article in support of the post:

    “This is the first case brought under the governor’s 2015 executive order authorizing the attorney general to prosecute cases involving the death of an unarmed civilian by police.”

    Here is a copy of the 2015 NY executive order:


  7. I don’t care what color the police officer or the color of the victim…these cops think it’s ok to kill people of any race…it’s just wrong! I can’t understand why police can lie and it seems to work for them. They (juries) buy into the script that I feared for my life or I killed him/her in self defense it’s bullshit we know it, these juries, and these judges know it. This injustice has to stop, police or not if you kill someone for no good reason then they need to be convicted!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ladylove,
      You are on point!

      What people should understand in the event they are called for jury duty, is that the standard for cases involving police use of excessive force, is that the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard is smoke and mirrors. The case is actually argued on an abuse of discretion standard.

      Of course there is evidence that the cop shot and killed the person. That’s beyond a reasonable doubt. The case however, is argued on the standard of whether the cop abused his/her discretion when pulling the trigger. I would love for a group of lawyers to come together and write articles or even a book about this standard and how it is applied in trials when law enforcement is the defendant.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. reality is the police officials refuse to even admit they shoot to KILL, they say they do NOT shoot to kill they shoot at center body mass until the threat is removed, which means we keep shooting until they are DEAD but we do not shoot to kill………an INSULT to all rational people.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wednesday, Oct. 25
    NY Daily News Reports

    A Fourth of July that had started with a barbecue and drinks with friends ended with a woman watching in horror as the father of her infant son was gunned down on the side of the road by a driver who she said had cut them off.

    “He was grunting, making noises, seen blood all over, he was leaking out just leaking,” Zaquanna Albert told a Brooklyn jury about the last moments of Delrawn Small’s life.

    She frantically told her 14-year-old daughter to call 911 before running to her boyfriend’s side in his last moments while his killer walked away.”

    “”Delrawn wasn’t screaming or running. He just walked over saying ‘What the f–k is wrong with you? You cut us off’ while clapping his hands and he got shot,” cried Albert.”

    ” On cross examination, Isaacs’ attorney, Stephen Worth, confronted Albert about her interview with detectives about whether Small had a bad temper.

    “No, he didn’t look upset to me,” said Albert, who sternly asked Worth to stop “badgering” her.”

    Liked by 2 people

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  11. How sad. Why lie if the truth would serve the best interest of the one on trial? That one simple fact should mean something to those on the jury. Why. Lie.?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mindyme,
      Isaacs wanted to setup a self-defense claim. At trial today, testimony revealed that Isaacs was given preferential treatment at the scene. He was off duty; not in uniform, neither saw Delrawn do anything illegal. Isaacs killed a man, but was not arrested.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s just so wrong. Why can’t they see what WE see when this happens? What happens to our respect for their craft and our ability to trust them?


        • Mindyme,
          You hit the proverbial nail on the head. Betrayal of trust is a powerful thing and the pendulum swings to the side of law enforcement. Dishonesty tells citizens that no matter the evidence, LE will do what they want and get away with it. Even if they do not, the person is still dead. On that same basis, there are jurors seated who are thinking that if they convict a LE defendant, what will wait for them in their future, and the future of their family? Will they be stalked by LE just waiting for an opportunity to set them up and arrest them? Will their employer be threatened? Will LE come out when called in the event they need them? PARANOIA STRIKES DEEP.


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  13. What injuries?


  14. There’s not much reported about today’s hearing. Delrawn’s stepdaughter testified, and 911 calls were played for the jury. The stepdaughter’s 911 call was not released to the public because she is a minor.

    The New York Post has Isaacs’ 911 call. Although he said that he had been attacked and to send an ambulance, he did not tell the dispatcher that he shot anyone.


  15. October 30, 2017
    The only news I was able to find today about the trial is that the defense attorney threw a tantrum when the judge would not allow him to cross-examine the medical examiner about a tattoo on Delrawn’s arm. It sounds as if the defense attorney wanted to use that to smear Delrawn’s character. The judge did not find the tattoo relevant because Delrawn and Issacs had not met previously and did not know each other.


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  19. November 2, 2017
    It didn’t take the defense long to present its case and rest. Closing arguments were this morning. The jury is now deliberating.


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  21. An hour into deliberations, a Brooklyn jury on Thursday asked a judge to boot a member off the panel — saying the person refused to participate in deciding the case of an off-duty cop charged with killing a borough dad.

    The judge did not remove the juror and replace with an alternate.


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