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March 8, 2023, 11:30 AM

Brooklyn judge unseals trial records in case of man shot dead by off-duty NYPD cop

By John Annese

A Brooklyn judge has unsealed the court records needed for the internal disciplinary trial of NYPD officer Wayne Isaacs, who shot a man dead during a road-rage clash in 2016.

The decision by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun comes a few months after the family of the shot man, Delrawn Small, accused the judge of slow-walking the case to protect the officer from firing.

Isaacs was acquitted of murder and manslaughter in 2017, and the documents in his trial were sealed after the verdict.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board substantiated an excessive-force complaint against Isaacs in October 2020, and the NYPD announced three months later that Isaacs would face an internal trial.

That agency trial, in which he’ll be prosecuted by the CCRB, has yet to take place, and Isaacs remains on the police force.

The CCRB filed its motion to request unseal the criminal case records in October 2021, and submitted formal documents arguing the motion in April.

“On Friday, Judge Chun made the right decision to unseal the records from Officer Isaacs’ criminal trial, but it should not have taken months of us going to the media and New Yorkers calling his office to demand he make a decision,” Small’s siblings, Victoria Davis and Victor Dempsey, said in a statement Tuesday. “As long as Officer Isaacs remains employed by the NYPD, he is a threat to public safety. We cannot wait any longer.”

Small’s family joined activists and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in a protest outside Brooklyn Supreme Court in November.

Isaacs shot Small, 37, during a road-rage clash near the corner of Atlantic Ave. and Bradford St. in East New York, Brooklyn just after midnight on July 4, 2016.

Small, who was unarmed, crossed two lanes of traffic to confront Isaacs in his car. Almost as soon as he reached Isaacs’ window, the officer shot him three times, striking him in the chest. Isaacs then walked by his body and called 911 to claim he was attacked and punched.

“We appreciate the judge granting the CCRB access to key evidence that will help prove misconduct occurred,” CCRB spokeswoman Clio Calvo-Patero said. “Our prosecutors will now move forward with this case and ensure that Delrawn Smalls’ family gets the accountability they have been waiting for.”

Isaacs unsuccessfully sued to stop a departmental trial against Isaacs, and the PBA sent a letter to Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell asking her to intervene. She refused the PBA’s request in May.

The PBA maintained that the trial records should remain sealed.

“The absurd double standard in this case proves once again that CCRB doesn’t care about justice, only their anti-cop agenda,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said Wednesday. “Wayne Isaacs should have been afforded the same rights as every other New Yorker who has been acquitted at trial.”