“It’s a different question than whether the officer committed a crime,” Bodah said.
“Isaacs was accredited at trial. That does not bar the CCRB from making a finding of administrative misconduct, excessive force in violation of the patrol guide,” he said. “It’s just a different question with a different standard of proof.”
The CCRB launched an investigation into Isaacs’s actions in 2018 and recommended disciplinary charges against Isaacs in 2020. But for years, the process was stuck. The agency was essentially waiting for approval from the police department to move forward, until a couple of months ago, when Keechant Sewell and Eric Adams, the new police commissioner and mayor, agreed to let the case move forward.
The next step would be an administrative trial, which the officer’s union tried to block. A judge sided with the CCRB earlier this year. Now, the agency is waiting to find out if it can access the criminal file for its case. The agency said it expects to take the case to trial once it has prepared the strongest case possible.
“CCRB has nothing new to add to this case, which has already been fully investigated and adjudicated by the NYPD,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement. “The police officer was also acquitted by a Brooklyn jury. CCRB is simply looking for a third bite at the apple in order to justify their bloated budget and advance their anticop agenda.”
It’s still possible that, after six years, Isaacs could stay on the force without any discipline. But he could be fired following a CCRB trial, like the officer who killed Eric Garner.
“What it really comes down to is that the CCRB is sort of left at the end of the line and not invited to participate until the last stages of the process,” Bodah said. “The Garner case is a perfect example of how, when nothing else happened, the CCRB came in, and it was because of what the CCRB did that Daniel Pantaleo was fired.”
Dempsey hopes that’s what happens in his brother’s case. He’s ready for six years of court dates and protests to be over. It’s been tough for his family.
“We’re fighting for accountability,” he said. “I can’t get my brother back. I can’t. The reason I still do this work is so other families don’t get the call we got.”