A New York City police officer charged with killing an unarmed man in an apparent road rage shooting was acquitted of murder and manslaughter on Monday, the AP reports. A Brooklyn jury returned the verdict at the trial of Wayne Isaacs, who was off duty on July 4, 2016, when he and Delrawn Small got into a traffic dispute that authorities said continued for several blocks. Small got out of his car and confronted the officer, who responded by shooting him through the driver's side window. Isaacs said he fired in self-defense. "We are devastated and outraged that the jury failed to ensure justice by not holding NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs accountable," Small's siblings said in a statement, adding that "our society must confront the problematic issues related to race and power that lead grand juries and juries to fail to hold officers fully accountable when they kill people of color." Small was black, as is Isaacs.
Isaacs was on the road in civilian clothes but still carrying a handgun following a shift that ended at midnight. A passenger in Small's car told police Small grew angry because he thought Isaacs had cut him off and got out of his car at a stoplight to confront the officer. Based on preliminary evidence, including Isaacs' statements, police initially said they believed the officer opened fire after Small reached through an open driver's side window and punched the officer while he sat behind the wheel of his car. But a short black-and-white video, which surfaced on the internet, appeared to show Small getting struck by gunfire the moment he walks up to the car window, with no clear indication that he first assaulted the officer.