Family Members of Delrawn Small and Dozens of Elected Officials and Racial Justice Organizations Call on Mayor Adams & NYPD Commissioner Sewell to Reject Police Union’s Effort to Block Discipline Proceeding in 2016 Brooklyn Police Killing
Group announced letters from twenty-six elected officials and dozens of racial justice groups, following recent news that police union attorneys representing Officer Wayne Isaacs made a formal request to prevent the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) from advancing discipline proceedings against Isaacs
Today, Delrawn Small’s siblings, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, City Councilmember Sandy Nurse, the Justice Committee, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and others rallied on the steps of City Hall and announced letters from elected officials and dozens of racial justice groups sent to Mayor Adams and NYPD Commissioner Sewell -- protesting recent news that Officer Wayne Isaacs’ police union lawyers requested that the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) be blocked from pursing discipline against Wayne Isaacs. The CCRB is currently preparing to prosecute Officer Wayne Isaacs in an NYPD disciplinary trial, after years of inaction by the NYPD. Isaacs shot and killed Delrawn Small on July 4, 2016, in East New York, Brooklyn in front of Mr. Small’s four-month-old baby, teen stepdaughter and girlfriend.
“We've been fighting for 5 ½ years to get Officer Wayne Isaacs fired for murdering our brother Delrawn Small," said Victoria Davis, sister of Delrawn Small and Victor Dempsey, brother of Delrawn Small. "Isaacs' police union lawyers are throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks with these baseless attempts to block the Civilian Complaint Review Board from moving forward with discipline against Wayne Isaacs. Enough is enough. Mayor Adams & the NYPD should reject this latest ploy by the police union lawyers and let CCRB do their job without interference. Wayne Isaacs should have already been fired for killing Delrawn and the Mayor and NYPD shouldn't let him or the police union continue to play games."
Twenty-six city and state elected officials sent a letter to the Mayor and NYPD Commissioner today, calling on them to reject Isaacs’ request to interfere in the CCRB’s discipline prosecution. As the letter notes, “The PBA request – made behind closed doors - is equivalent to trying to broker a backroom deal to prevent the disciplinary process from moving forward.” The direct request in the letter is that Mayor Adams and Commissioner Sewell “allow the CCRB disciplinary prosecution of Officer Isaacs to move forward” and “deny the request by [Isaacs’] police union attorneys to remove the case from the CCRB in this final stage.” Elected officials who signed the letter include Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Comptroller Brad Lander, Brooklyn and Queens Borough Presidents Antonio Reynoso and Donovan Richards, state senators Julia Salazar and Zellnor Myrie, state assemblymembers Jessica González-Rojas and Harvey Epstein, and over a dozen city councilmembers, including Sandy Nurse, Charles Barron, Althea Stevens, and Tiffany Caban.
Dozens of national and local racial justice and police accountability groups sent a separate letter to the Mayor and NYPD Commissioner, echoing demands of Mr. Small’s family, the Justice Committee and CPR for Mayor Adams and Commissioner Sewell to publicly commit to allowing the CCRB to continue its prosecution of Isaacs, without interference – and demanded the firing of Wayne Isaacs. The second letter, organized by Communities United for Police Reform, was signed by organizations including Justice Committee, ColorOfChange, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Make the Road New York, Brooklyn Movement Center, and others.
After shooting Delrawn Small three times in 2016, Officer Isaacs provided no aid to Mr. Small and did not tell 911 that he had discharged his weapon, or that he had shot someone who needed immediate medical assistance. The CCRB is preparing for a discipline trial to prosecute Officer Isaacs, after years of inaction by the NYPD.
"We've stood with Delrawn's family since he was gunned down by NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs 5 1/2 years ago," said Adilka Pimentel of the Justice Committee. "Delrawn's siblings and New Yorkers have been through four police commissioners and two mayors and the firing of this officer keeps getting delayed - it's outrageous. We won't be silent while the cop union attorneys try to block a discipline trial. Mayor Adams and the NYPD must reject this attempt by the police union."
“We cannot allow Officer Isaacs and his Police Benevolent Association (PBA) lawyers to successfully broker a backroom deal with the NYPD and Commissioner Sewell. If successful, it could prevent the family of Delrawn Small from getting true accountability and could prevent Officer Isaacs from standing a disciplinary trial for killing Delrawn Small,” said Isabel Gonzalez-Webster, Executive Director of Communities United for Police Reform. “If Commissioner Sewell removes the Isaacs case from CCRB after five and a half years, it would not only undermine the Mayor’s promises of accountability but also further strain the tension and lack of trust and faith our communities already have in the City government.”
“The Mayor and Commissioner Sewell have repeatedly claimed that they will hold accountable NYPD officers who engage in abusive behavior. It’s time for them to put those words into action. The administration must not allow the PBA to circumvent the disciplinary process for Wayne Isaacs and take away the possibility of justice that Delrawn Small’s family and New Yorkers have been waiting for, for over five years,” said New York City Councilmember Sandy Nurse.
“The family of Delrawn Small have now waited through two mayors and four commissioners for some semblance of justice,” said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. “Officer Wayne Isaacs has continued to evade consequence, and now, the PBA is attempting to again prevent accountability in this case by denying the CCRB its opportunity and obligation to investigate misconduct. I urge the administration to reject this effort and help Delrawn’s family find a sense of peace, years after their tragic loss.”
“Delrawn Small's family have been waiting for over half a decade for a disciplinary proceeding of the officer who killed Mr. Small," said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “The past administration dragged this out for years, but New Yorkers deserve better. That's why I'm joining twenty-six state and city officials to urge Mayor Adams and Commissioner Sewell to reject the latest ploy by police union lawyers to derail accountability for the death of Delrawn Small and let the Civilian Complaint Review Board do their job without interference."
Officer Wayne Isaacs killed 37-year-old Delrawn Small just one day before Alton Sterling was killed by police in Louisiana and two days prior to Philando Castile being killed by police in Minnesota. Officers in both cases are no longer with their respective police departments, while Isaacs is still employed by the NYPD.
Isaacs was charged and prosecuted for murder by the NYS Attorney General’s office in the first and only case the office prosecuted after Governor Cuomo's 2015 executive order and the state legislature’s 2020 law authorizing the AG to investigate police killings. In February the New York State Supreme Court Judge Verna L. Saunders dismissed NYPD Officer Wayne’s Isaacs’ Article 78 lawsuit, the police union’s baseless attempt to block his long-delayed discipline trial.
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