New York – The state’s attorney general office was investigating an off-duty police officer’s fatal shooting of a man who apparently attacked him during a case of road rage early Monday.
The New York Police Department officer was driving his personal vehicle in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn shortly after midnight when he was involved in a traffic dispute with 37-year-old Delrawn Small, police said.
When the officer and Small stopped at a red light, Small got out of his vehicle and punched the officer repeatedly in the head through an open window, according to police. The officer, who had just finished his shift and was on his way home, pulled out his service weapon and killed Small, authorities said. The officer, whose name wasn’t immediately released, was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.
Small’s family held a news conference later Monday demanding a full investigation.
Eric Soufer, a spokesman for New York Attorney General Eric Scheniderman, said prosecutors had obtained a search warrant for the officer’s car and were “actively reviewing the case.” The attorney general’s office had also been in contact with police and Small’s family, he said.
The attorney general is authorized to investigate police shootings when either the person killed is unarmed or there are questions about the threat they posed.
The police department was also investigating, Police Commissioner William Bratton said. Investigators gathered surveillance video and interviewed the officer, Bratton said.
But Bratton, citing the ongoing investigations, warned that it was too early to say whether the officer was justified in his actions and said police are still trying to determine what sparked the traffic dispute.