New York City makes $125,000 settlement with girlfriend of Black man fatally shot by off-duty officer
Three years after an NYC officer was acquitted of criminal charges for killing Delrawn Small, the city has settled a lawsuit filed by his girlfriend
New York City on Friday settled a lawsuit brought by the girlfriend of Delrawn Small, a Black man who was killed by an off-duty police officer during a traffic incident in the summer of 2016.
As part of the settlement, Zaquanna Albert, who was with Small at the time of the killing, received $125,000, according to New York Daily News. Two children, including the couple’s son, were also passengers in the car when New York Police Department officer Wayne Isaacs, who is also Black and remains on the force today, fatally shot Small on the fourth of July in Brooklyn. The other child was Small’s stepdaughter.
The payout comes years after Albert filed suit in 2017, in which she claimed that Isaacs cut off Small, who was driving. That led to a traffic dispute that reportedly carried on for multiple blocks. Small, 37, later exited the vehicle at an intersection to confront Isaac, who reacted by shooting him three times, killing him.
In an apparent case of mistaken identity, Isaac confused Small for someone he had arrested in the past, the suit alleged. Small was unarmed. The city’s law department believed the settlement was New York’s best interest, according to local outlet News 12.
Isaacs was wearing civilian clothes and carrying a service handgun after ending a shift at midnight. At the time, police claimed that Isaacs shot Small after Small punched the officer through an open driver’s side window. That story was muddled by a short black-and-white video that surfaced online, depicting that Small was hit by gunfire as he approached the car window.
The video did not illustrate that Small had struck Issacs.
“You could tell he was upset with me. At that time of the night, in that area of East New York, you know, I thought maybe he recognized me from a previous arrest or was a carjacking,” Isaac told the trial jury. “Could tell he was in a rage coming at me.”
Isaac was tried in 2017 for murder and manslaughter charges in Brooklyn Supreme Court. The case was taken up by the New York state attorney’s general office. It was the first time that the state’s top prosecute took on such a case since Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2015 directed the office to step in as a special prosecutor in cases of police shootings of unarmed victims in the wake of officer-involved killings caught on video.
A Brooklyn jury acquitted Isaacs of all charges.
Gothamist reported in January that Isaacs would face disciplinary charges from the Civilian Complain Review Board, an oversight agency of the NYPD, that the officer used excessive force.
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