An NYPD cop shot and killed a mentally ill 66-year-old woman who was allegedly waving a bat on Oct. 18, but did not use his Taser.
Sgt. Hugh Barry was one of several officers responding to a call about Deborah Danner, an African-American senior, who was acting "in an irrational manner," according to one of her neighbors in her Bronx apartment building, notes the New York Daily News.
Danner was reportedly found in her bedroom by police. She was holding scissors, and allegedly threatened the cops who came into her seventh-floor apartment.
According to unidentified sources, Barry convinced Danner to drop her scissors, but she grabbed a wooden bat and lunged a "close distance of an amount of feet" at Barry.
Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen said: "As she attempted to strike the sergeant, he fired two shots from his service revolver, striking her in the torso."
Danner was taken to a local hospital, where she died.
Nikunen added: "The sergeant was armed with a Taser. It was not deployed, and the reason it was not deployed will be part of the investigation and review."
While an investigation takes place, Barry will not carry a gun and will be placed on modified duty.
Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association, said that everyone at the scene called it a good shooting:
And it was indicated to me by numerous people at the scene, within the department that this was coming from Chief (of Patrol Terence) Monahan, and that this was purely political. I understand that Ruben Diaz has put out some statement questioning what took place with the Taser.
And basically what we have now is a Monday morning quarterback decision. Everyone agrees that this is a good shooting. Everyone up at the scene, in the precinct, and when I say everyone, I’m going up the food chain as far as the brass goes.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Oct. 19 that Danner's death was "tragic" and "unacceptable," notes The Associated Press, and added:
Our officers are supposed to use deadly force only when faced with a dire situation. It's very hard to see that standard was met. Something went horribly wrong here.
Deborah Danner should be alive right now, period. If the protocols had been followed, she would be alive. It's as simple as that.
New York police Commissioner James O'Neill said that his own department "failed," and added: "That's not how it's supposed to go. It's not how we train; our first obligation is to preserve life, not to take a life when it can be avoided."