A New York City police sergeant was arrested for the shooting death of a mentally ill, elderly black woman from The Bronx.
The New York Times reports that Sgt. Hugh Barry, an eight-year vet of the 43rd precinct, was charged with “second-degree murder, first- and second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide” after shooting and killing Deborah Danner in October 2016. Barry and other officers were called after reports of a woman acting erratically inside an apartment building in the Castle Hill area of the borough.
Danner’s sister Jennifer had legal guardianship over Deborah, and she says that her 66-year-old sister developed mental health issues in college, and she was reportedly diagnosed with schizophrenia.
On the fateful evening, Danner reportedly swung a bat at Barry after he persuaded her to drop a pair of scissors. The sergeant did not follow proper protocol, nor did he wait for a specialized Emergency Service Unit to arrive on the scene. Instead of using a stun gun to subdue Danner, he fired two fatal shots at her in her bedroom.
“Clearly, there were options available to Sgt. Barry which he failed to implement and his conduct in this case is by no means a reflection on the great work of the New York City Police Department and its dedicated members,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “We once again offer our condolences to Ms. Danner’s family during this difficult time.”