Officer who fatally shot mentally ill woman charged with murder
On Wednesday, prosecutors charged the NYPD sergeant who shot a mentally ill woman last October with murder.
This means that Sgt. Hugh Barry is the first NYPD cop to face a top homicide charge since 1999.
The Bronx grand jury rejected Barry’s testimony that he had been justified in shooting 66-year-old Deborah Danner, who is mentally ill. Neighbors had reported that Danner was screaming in her own home, and when Barry arrived, Danner was holding a pair of scissors. Although Barry convinced Danner to put down the scissors, he shot her after she allegedly rushed toward him with a bat.
Prosecutors said that Barry failed to get background information on the call that would be critical to his response and added that he disregarded his training “in dealing with emotionally disturbed persons, by rushing into Ms. Danner’s apartment.”
“The loss of Deborah Danner was a tragedy felt deeply by our city,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday. “Now that the grand jury has made its decision, we have full faith in the district attorney to lead a fair and thorough prosecution.”
Defense attorney Andrew Quinn and Sergeants Benevolent Association President Edward Mullins both stated that Barry was being unfairly treated, with Mullins claiming Barry was a “political pawn.”
“There’s political agendas on the table here. Disgraceful,” Mullins claimed.