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May 6, 2022, 10:37 AM

NYPD commissioner goes against union, siding with family of slain man in officer discipline case

The matter is an early indication of how Mayor Eric Adams might approach police reform. He ran for office on a pledge to root out abusive behavior within the Police Department while driving down crime.


NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams met virtually last month with the relatives of six people killed by NYPD officers. Now, his administration is heeding one of their top requests by overruling the city’s rank-and-file police union in a pending discipline case.

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell penned a letter to the CCRB informing the board it could proceed with its case involving Officer Wayne Isaacs, who fatally shot 37-year-old Delrawn Small in Brooklyn six years ago, agency spokesperson Clio Calvo-Platero said.

“Commissioner Sewell’s steadfast leadership, integrity, and commitment to due process at the NYPD are integral to the accountability and fairness that all New Yorkers deserve,” Adams said in a statement.

“It will be six years since Delrawn was killed, and that’s six years too long,” Small’s sister Victoria Davis said in an interview Thursday, after learning the news from the CCRB. “There’s no reason that [Officer] Wayne Isaacs should be still getting paid with taxpayer dollars. He’s a public threat.”

The matter is an early indication of how Adams might approach police reform. He ran for mayor on a pledge to root out abusive behavior within the NYPD while driving down crime — readily pointing to his background as a Black retired police captain who was beaten by cops as a teenager.

Davis and relatives of others killed by NYPD officers talked with Adams and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks in mid-April, imploring them to fire Isaacs and reconsider bringing back a controversial police division that the new mayor believes is essential to reducing gun violence.

They described Sewell’s letter as a positive sign.

Isaacs’ union, on the other hand, expressed dissatisfaction with the decision.

“CCRB has nothing new to add to this case, which has already been fully investigated and adjudicated by the NYPD,” PBA President Pat Lynch said in a prepared statement. “The police officer was also acquitted by a Brooklyn jury. CCRB is simply looking for a third bite at the apple in order to justify their bloated budget and advance their anti-cop agenda.”

Small was killed on July 4, 2016, after a confrontation at a Brooklyn traffic stop with Isaacs, who was off duty at the time. It was described in the press as a “road rage” incident and Isaacs said he was acting in self defense. He was acquitted in court of second-degree murder the following year and the NYPD cleared him of wrongdoing in an internal probe in 2018.

Last year he took home nearly $113,000, according to public records.

Davis has been agitating for his termination from the force alongside an advocacy organization formed in the 1980s known as “the Justice Committee.”

“People often ask about justice,” she said. “It’s not justice. It’s accountability.”