Deborah Danner, a Black woman with a history of mental issues, was shot and killed by the NYPD Tuesday (Oct. 18) night. NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill says his department “failed” the 66-year-old Danner after one of his sergeants gunned her down.
According to an ABC News report, officers were called in to check in on a person in crisis by way of O’Neill’s account. O’Neill was especially critical of how the matter was handled, although Danner allegedly armed herself with a pair of scissors and a bat while being approached by the sergeant. O’Neill was incensed that his officer took the route of shooting and killing Danner, expressing that the moment was largely avoidable.
From ABC News:
Sgt. Hugh Barry responded to a 911 call about an emotionally disturbed person in The Bronx just after 6 p.m., when a neighbor complained that a woman was acting in an irrational manner, according to the NYPD.
About 10 minutes later, Barry entered the apartment to investigate and found Danner armed with a pair a scissors, according to cops. The sergeant convinced Danner to put the scissors down, but she then approached the officer and grabbed a baseball bat, police said.
The sergeant fired two shots from his revolver as Danner attempted to strike him with the baseball bat, police said. She was struck in the torso and transported to Jacobi Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead.
The NYPD is investigating the matter internally and said that Barry is now on modified duty. Under question is why Sgt. Barry went to his firearm instead of using his department-issued Taser.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also remarked on Danner’s slaying, saying that Barry ignored his training and added that before Tuesday the NYPD has handled 200 such cases without incident that involved a person having a mental episode.
In the clip shown below, protests around Danner’s death took place last night in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx.