On July 4, New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Wayne Isaacs shot and killed 37-year-old Delrawn Small. Yesterday (September 26), the family’s lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, announced that a Brooklyn, New York, grand jury indicted Isaacs on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter.
New York legal code defines felony second-degree murder as follows, in part: "Under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes the death of another person."
Isaacs was off-duty when he killed Small in what appears to be a road rage incident. Small reportedly followed and approached Isaacs’ car because he felt the officer cut him off in traffic. Isaacs told police officials that he shot Small because the man reached into his car and punched him. But subsequently released security video showed that Isaacs shot Small the moment he approached his car window. Small, a Black man, was unarmed.
The Associated Press reports that the indictment is the result of an investigation conduced by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is the special prosecutor in charge of prosecuting police-involved killings of civilians.
Small’s family currently has a $25 million wrongful death suit pending against the city.