Family of Delrawn Small Responds to Not Guilty Verdict against NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs Who Killed Small

Family comments on failure of jury as injustice, racialized fear, racism in justice system and society; demands that Mayor de Blasio & NYPD Commissioner O’Neill fire Isaacs

In response to the jury finding NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs not guilty of murder for killing unarmed Delrawn Small on Atlantic Avenue on July 4, 2016, Delrawn Small’s brother and sister, Victor Dempsey and Victoria Davis, released the following statement.

“Nothing can bring Delrawn back or fill the void in our hearts and lives from our brother being taken from us by this senseless murder‎. We are devastated and outraged that the jury failed to ensure justice by not holding NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs accountable for murdering our brother. 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. Today, the justice system made a statement that it does not equally value Black life and the life of our brother Delrawn Small. The facts of this case were always clear and the importance of having an independent prosecutor from the Attorney General’s office should not be overlooked. Yet, our society must confront the problematic issues related to race and power that lead grand juries and juries to fail to hold officers fully accountable when they kill people of color. The fact that Officer Isaacs was Black does not diminish the systemic issues of racialized fear and the criminalization of Blackness that allow a jury to consider the killing of an unarmed Black man by a police officer as justified. We heard it in the defense’s case that sought to paint our brother, the victim, as someone to be feared, playing into a historic, racialized fear of Black people in this country. This jury’s failure is a reflection of the persistent problems with racism in our society, and our justice system will continue to serve injustices until that is confronted. While we continue to mourn the loss of our brother, we continue to fight for justice for him and all who are brutalized and whose lives are unjustly taken by police and fail to receive justice.

“We now call on Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner O’Neill to immediately fire Officer Wayne Isaacs from the police department. An officer, who is so trigger-happy that he immediately shoots not once, not twice but three times and kills a civilian simply approaching his car, is a threat to public safety. The fact that Officer Isaacs failed to protect public safety – shooting Delrawn three times and then failing to administer emergency care or even alert 911 to the fact that he shot him, which led to Delrawn bleeding out on the street and dying – is a clear indication that he doesn’t deserve the responsibility of being a police officer. The lawsuits against Isaacs related to misconduct and brutality are just additional evidence of why he is no longer a credible officer of public safety.”

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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 policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.

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Topics: Delrawn Small