The off-duty NYPD cop who shot and killed an unarmed Brooklyn man in the midst of a heated exchange, was found not guilty of all charges on Monday, New York Daily News reports.
Officer Wayne Isaacs, 38, walked away free after facing murder and manslaughter charges stemming from the July 4, 2016 shooting death of Delrawn Small, 37. A jury came to the conclusion after three days of deliberations.
Small’s siblings Victor Dempsey and Victoria Davis voiced their disappointment in the verdict, releasing a joint statement regarding their brother’s death.
“What Wayne Isaacs did that night — immediately shooting and killing our brother as he approached his car and leaving him to bleed out and die, when he had so many other options — was murder, in cold blood. It is dangerous that once again a police officer is being treated as if they are above the law,” Small’s family said in the joint statement.
“Today, the justice system made a statement that it does not equally value Black life and the life of our brother Delrawn Small,” the statement continued.
Smalls’ supporters voiced their outrage in the courtroom, shouting at the jury and judge after the verdict was handed down.
Isaacs maintained he operated in self-defense and opened fire, accusing Small of threatening to kill him and punch him in the face. Lawyers who represented Isaacs also argued Small was intoxicated during the exchange.
Small’s girlfriend Zaquanna Albert who witnessed the shooting, tearfully told jurors she was riding as a passenger along with the couple’s children, when Issac’s cut off their car in an East New York intersection. Prosecutors refuted that Small was intoxicated and also argued Issacs never identified himself as an officer.
In a grainy evidence video, Small is seen approaching Isaac’s car–then was shot three times as he approached the window.
The case was the first to be tried after Governor Andrew Cuomo handed down an executive order in 2015 giving Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office the power to investigate and prosecute officers accused of killing unarmed civilians, CBS New York reports.