Contact: Kristine Mikkelsen

Desperate Cop & Police Union Push for Backroom Deal with NYPD Commissioner to Circumvent Firing of Officer that Killed Delrawn Small

In a meeting with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) today, Delrawn Small’s family learned that the NYPD officer who shot and killed their unarmed brother in front of his 4-month-old baby, teenage stepdaughter and girlfriend filed a formal request to NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell requesting that she remove his case from the CCRB and end the civilian investigatory process. The CCRB substantiated charges against Officer Wayne Isaacs in October 2020, and the NYPD served those charges on Isaacs in 2021, clearing the way for a formal disciplinary trial.

Nearly 6 years ago on July 4, 2016, Officer Wayne Isaacs shot and killed Delrawn Small in Brooklyn. Both Isaacs and the NYPD made false claims in the initial account of the shooting. Surveillance video surfaced days later, showing that Isaacs shot Mr. Small – who was unarmed — within seconds and provided no aid when Mr. Small fell to the ground, leaving him to bleed out in the street. 

The CCRB, the independent police oversight agency, is preparing to prosecute Isaacs in an NYPD disciplinary trial.  Based on a 2012 MOU between the CCRB and NYPD, the NYPD commissioner can notify CCRB if the NYPD wishes to remove a case from CCRB jurisdiction.

Isaacs and his police union lawyers have made multiple attempts to delay and circumvent any accountability, and if successful, this latest attempt could prevent a disciplinary trial and firing.

“Video shows that Wayne Isaacs shot our brother and left him to die on the street. Officers who killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile days after Delrawn are no longer in their police departments – but in NYC, Isaacs has been shielded from accountability for almost 6 years and the police union is attempting to help him escape accountability again. The PBA’s latest desperate attempt to strike a backroom deal with the NYPD is unacceptable. We’re demanding that Mayor Adams & Commissioner Sewell make clear that they will not engage in backroom deals and will let the CCRB’s prosecution of Isaacs move forward. In any other profession, Isaacs would already have been fired. All we want is for the process to move forward in a fair and transparent way - without any more baseless delays - so that Isaacs can finally be fired,” said Victoria Davis (she/her) and Victor Dempsey (he/him), the sister and brother of Delrawn Small.  

The Justice Committee and Communities United for Police Reform have worked with Delrawn Small’s siblings to push for accountability for the killing of Mr. Smalls for more than five years. The campaign is calling on New York City Mayor Eric Adams to make clear that he and the Police Commissioner will not engage in backroom deals and will allow the CCRB prosecution of Officer Wayne Isaacs to move forward in a timely way.

“Wayne Isaacs is a danger to New Yorkers,” said Loyda Colon (they/them), Executive Director of Justice Committee. “He should have been fired in 2016 when he killed Delrawn. New Yorkers are sick and tired of the games the police union and Isaacs are playing. No family should have to fight tooth and nail for more than half a decade to ensure that an officer who killed their loved one is fired. We won’t accept any backroom deals - it’s time to schedule the discipline trial and fire Isaacs.”

“Mayor Adams has said time and again that ‘if you don’t follow the law, you’re not going to serve in my police department.’ We’re asking Mayor Adams to make good on this promise,” said Isabel Gonzalez-Webster (she/her), Executive Director of Communities United for Police Reform. “Wayne Isaacs killed Delrawn Small in 2016 and has suffered no consequences for his misconduct. New York taxpayers still pay his salary. Today, we’re asking Mayor Adams and Commissioner Sewell to let the CCRB proceed with their work and schedule a disciplinary trial for Wayne Isaacs. This family deserves the accountability that they’ve been denied for nearly 6 years.”

Initial false accounts from Isaacs and the NYPD claimed that the officer was being assaulted when he fired his weapon, but nearby surveillance video, released days after these false accounts saturated media coverage of the killing, discredited Isaacs’ and the NYPD’s claims. The footage showed that Isaacs shot Delrawn Small, who was unarmed, within seconds, contradicting the initial accounts Isaacs and the NYPD made. After shooting Small, Isaacs left him to bleed to death on the ground, offering no emergency aid and never even communicating that he had shot someone in his 911 call. Isaacs also never sought to check on Small’s health and well-being after firing his weapon, leaving Small to bleed out and die in the street.


About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.

Topics: Delrawn Small