On Thursday, the head of a police union suggested that the sergeant who shot Deborah Danner did so because he was trained to.

“We train this way. This is what we shoot at,” Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association explained. “We’re taught a baseball bat is a deadly weapon.”

As proof, Mullins held up a target that had drawings of five men. The first is holding a police badge, the second a baseball bat, the third a gun pointed forward, the fourth a knife, and the fifth has his arms at his sides.

“Shooting at a cop would be a bad target,” he explained. But as for the bat-wielder: “That would be a good target.”

Deborah Danner deserved help and patience, not fatal bullets

“The purpose of it is to create mental thought. You create mental thought. A scenario could be you run into an off duty cop. A scenario could be, it could be someone with a knife, a deadly weapon,” Mullins said.

But NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald disagreed with Mullins’ assertions, noting that paper targets could never be substituted for real people. “A paper target of pictures meant to measure agility and accuracy cannot speak to whether a shooting in a real world situation is justified or otherwise,” he said.

“That is a determination after an investigation that considers all the facts, including the decision making process of the officer(s) involved.”