Wayne Isaacs, a 37-year-old NYPD police officer, was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter yesterday in the fatal July 4 shooting of a motorist in Brooklyn.
According to the NYPD, Isaacs had just gotten off a shift at the 79th Precinct in Bed-Stuy and was driving home when he got into a traffic dispute with another driver, Delrawn Small. Small, who was driving with his girlfriend and two children, believed Isaacs had cut him off, and at a red light he got out of his car and approached Isaacs’s car. Police sources initially reported that Small punched Isaacs repeatedly in the head, but in surveillance video of the incident that subsequently surfaced, Small can be seen to recoil from a gunshot almost immediately upon arriving at Isaacs’s car. Small was shot three times, twice in the torso and once in the arm.
Small was African American. So is Isaacs. Small’s death came shortly before two other higher-profile fatal police shootings of unarmed black men: In the days following, Baton Rouge police killed Alton Sterling, and police in Falcon Heights Minnesota killed Philando Castile.
Isaacs’s indictment is the first brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman under an executive order passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo giving Schneiderman the power to investigate police killings of civilians.
Isaacs was held on $500,000 bail today, ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, and directed to turn over his American and Guyanese passports. The NYPD stripped him of his badge and gun shortly after the shooting, and this week the department suspended him without pay for at least thirty days. Here’s a copy of Isaacs’ indictment.