NYPD Officer Charged With ‘Road-Rage’ Killing

     MANHATTAN (CN) — New York’s top prosecutor brought charges Tuesday against the off-duty Brooklyn police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man this past Independence Day — an apparent case of road rage caught on surveillance video.
     Attorney General Eric Schneiderman made the announcement this afternoon on the heels of a grand jury’s decision Monday to indict Wayne Isaacs on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
     Isaacs shot Delrawn Small twice in the chest while at a red light in East New York, Brooklyn, as the officer was ending his shift. The July 4, 2016, incident was caught on surveillance video.
     Attributing the officer’s action to road rage, prosecutors say Small cut off the rookie cop earlier, and the two had an argument on the road.
     “The evidence is what it is, and it speaks for itself,” Schneiderman said during his brief news conference, which was streamed online.
     “This video speaks for itself. Everyone who has probably seen this videotape can draw their own conclusions,” he added.
     Isaacs has a court date in November, the attorney general said.
     With just three years at the New York City Police Department, Isaacs was assigned to the 79th Precinct in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
     The case marks the first time Schneiderman has brought charges in his new role as special prosecutor — authority that the attorney general demanded from Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the old system was blamed for inaction on past cases of possible police brutality.
     Schneiderman demanded the special prosecutor powers after a grand jury on Staten Island declined to indict the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold.
     Discussing the grand jury in Small’s case, Schneiderman today said they “did not deliberate very long.”
     “We follow the facts wherever they lead,” Schneiderman added.
     Isaacs was arraigned this morning in Brooklyn Supreme Court, released on a $500,000 bond and ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet, the prosecutor said.
     He added that the officer also had to surrender his passport and his gun.
     Schneiderman’s office has taken on at least six cases involving police-related shootings since taking the mantle of special prosecutor. The prosecutor noted today that only two of these cases have been dropped and the rest remain pending.
     “My office takes the prosecution of this matter very seriously, and intends to prove the alleged charges against Mr. Isaacs beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” Schneiderman said in a statement after the conference.
     At the time of Small’s death, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the case “disturbing,” and called for an investigation.
     Strife between black communities and law enforcement over perceived excessive force has been brewing for years.
     In Monday night’s presidential debate, Republican candidate Donald Trump vowed to bring stop-and-frisk back to New York, though the city abandoned the policy after a federal judge found that it discriminated against minorities with poor conviction results.
     New York City did enjoy a drop in crime during enforcement of so-called broken-windows policing, but this was on trend with other cities across the country that lacked similar drops with less controversial policing styles.
     Broken windows is a school of thought that policing quality-of-life crimes, like solicitation or graffiti, brings down more serious crimes as well.
     Before his death in an illegal police chokehold two years ago, Eric Garner had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes — another classic quality-of-life crime.

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