AFRICANGLOBE – The devastated family of a man shot dead by an off-duty police officer in front of his horrified girlfriend and children have threatened to ‘hunt him down’ if he is not charged with the killing.
Officer Wayne Isaacs killed Delrawn Small, 37, after a near-miss crash in Brooklyn.
Small’s niece, Zoe Dempsey, 23, told the reporters: ‘We will seek our justice’ — and get violent if necessary.
‘This is war. I’m from Brooklyn. This is our neighborhood.’
Small and Issacs’ cars almost collided on Atlantic Avenue and Bradford St. in Cypress Hill around midnight on Sunday.
The slain father got out of his Kia EX and approached the cop car and allegedly punched the officer through an open window, according to police.
The officer, who had just finished his shift and was on his way home in his own car, pulled out his service weapon and killed Small, authorities said.
But another account told by a witness claims it was the officer who was the aggressor.
Construction worker, Lloyd Banks, 43, told reporters: ‘Delron and the cop’s car almost hit each other. And Delron got out of the car and the cop just jumped out and started screaming.
‘He just shot him right there on the street. Delron was unarmed. His wife and kids were still in the car. They saw everything.’
Small’s girlfriend, Zaquanna Albert, wrote on Facebook: ‘Words can’t begin to explain. The pain I feel right now. I appreciate all the prayers and well wishes. But my heart aches for this Man and my son who will never remember his Dad and a Great dad he was to my Baby.’
Small was pronounced dead at the scene but his body remained on the street covered in a plastic sheet for around four hours after the shooting.
A law enforcement official who has viewed a security videotape from the scene said it shows an unarmed motorist exiting his car at a stoplight and leaning into the vehicle of an off-duty officer before the officer shot and killed.
The video has emerged as key evidence in a review by the New York Police Department and the state attorney general’s office into the shooting of Small.
Officer Wayne Issacs was rewarded with administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, police said.
While investigators were certain the killing of Small was the result of a traffic dispute and suspect he accosted the patrolman, police Commissioner William Bratton has called it ‘much, much too early’ to say whether it was justified.
Police said the incident unfolded shortly after Isaacs ended his shift at a Brooklyn precinct and drove away in his civilian clothes. It wasn’t unusual that he was armed: The NYPD allows off-duty officers to carry weapons and to take police action if they encounter criminal activity.
Police say a woman who was riding with Small and their two children, ages 5 months and 14 years, allegedly told investigators that he became enraged after he thought the officer cut him off, then followed the officer’s car to the stoplight despite her pleas to calm down and let it go. They say there was no back and forth that would have made Isaacs aware that he was being pursued or that Small knew he was an officer.
The video shows Small walking around the front of the officer’s car and leaning through the driver’s window, the official said. Small then ‘nearly instantaneously’ stumbles back and ends up collapsing behind the officer’s vehicle as it lurches forward, the official said.
As described by the official, the tape contradicts a news report quoting a man claiming he saw Isaacs get out of his car and shoot Small. Investigators believe Small had punched Isaacs with the officer still seated behind the wheel before the officer fired three times, leaving behind shell cases found inside the car.
Police have declined to release the video. The official, who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss it, spoke on the condition of anonymity.
After the shooting, the woman in Small’s car started to drive away with her children before returning to the scene, police said. Isaacs, who was not in uniform and waited until patrol officers arrived, was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, they said.
State Assemblyman Charles Barron said Tuesday that he was working with Small’s family to demand that authorities hold the officer accountable. The Brooklyn Democrat and frequent NYPD critic said the officer should have taken steps to defuse the situation with warnings or simply by driving away.
‘Even if there was a punch, there’s no justification — zero — for the use of deadly force,’ Barron said.
The police union that represents Isaacs declined to comment on Tuesday.
Small’s brother Ali found out about the shooting from Banks and a second brother, Bryan Williams.
‘My little brother was driving in the car with his family on his way to see me,’ the 43-year-old said, identifying the children as two teenage girls and a newborn son.
Speaking to NBC, he said witnesses told him the officer shot ‘on impulse.’ He also defended his brother, saying that he left his car because he didn’t want to argue in front of his family.
‘The only reason he got out of the car was because the family was in the car. He was concerned. He wanted to question the guy, like, what’s your angle?’ Small said.
‘And that was his angle… he killed him.’
Small’s family held a news conference later Monday demanding a full investigation.
The father was from Jersey City but grew up in East New York.
By: Sarah Dean