A police officer who was charged with second-degree manslaughter was deemed a flight risk by a state Supreme Court judge. Wayne Isaacs, who was off-duty when he shot a driver in Brooklyn on July 4, is being held on $500,000 bail and was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet.
He was also ordered to surrender his U.S. and Guyanese passports. Isaacs has pleaded not guilty.
In the early morning of July 4, Delrawn Small, 37, believed that Isaacs had cut him off in East New York. At a stop light, Small got out of his car and confronted Isaacs. Video showed Smalls collapsing from a gunshot moments later.
During yesterday's arraignment, a prosecutor in the NY Attorney General's office said, "This defendant fired not one, not two, but three shots from a 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun as the victim approached with no weapon. The defendant had no legal justification."
But Isaacs' attorney argued against the high bail, "We now know Mr. Small didn’t have a weapon. Officer Isaacs didn’t have that luxury at the time. He had to make a decision. No reasonable person would have any choice given his situation.”
The Post reports, "Small’s relatives burst into applause — and one cheered 'Yes!' — when court officers slapped Isaacs into handcuffs and led him to a holding cell."
In a statement, AG Eric Schneiderman said:
In July of 2015, my office was appointed as Special Prosecutor in cases where an unarmed civilian dies during an encounter with police, and in cases where there is a significant question as to whether the civilian was armed and dangerous. Pursuant to that authority, on July 4th of this year, my Special Investigation and Prosecutions Unit launched an investigation into the death of Delrawn Small. We conducted a thorough investigation and, as I have always pledged, followed the facts where they led, without fear or favor. After a thorough investigation, we concluded that the evidence warranted a presentation to a grand jury. Yesterday, that grand jury voted, and returned an indictment of NYPD officer Wayne Isaacs on charges of Murder in the Second Degree and Manslaughter in the First Degree. Pursuant to that indictment, Mr. Isaacs was taken into custody this morning and arraigned today in Brooklyn Supreme Court. My office takes the prosecution of this matter very seriously, and intends to prove the alleged charges against Mr. Isaacs beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. At today’s arraignment, the judge granted our office’s request for bail at $500,000, along with the requirement that Mr. Isaac’s surrender his passport and firearms, restrict his travel, and wear an ankle bracelet to be monitored by the court. As is always the case in our system of justice, Mr. Isaacs is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Small's family has filed a $25 million wrongful death suit against the city.