The fallout continues after last week’s police shooting death of 66-year-old Deborah Danner in the Bronx.
Activist and elected officials continue to condemn the shooting through protests and demonstrations. The shooting was also ripped by Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil.
Officers responded to a 911 call about Danner, 66, who was acting irrationally. While police were at her home, Danner allegedly tried to hit NYPD Sgt. Hugh Barry with a baseball bat. Barry fired two shots into her torso. She was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where she died.
Suffering from mental illness, Danner lived alone. Police had been called to her apartment in the past and took her to the hospital with no problems. On the night of her death, Danner’s sister called police to take her to the hospital, as she had in the past.
Barry had a Taser but did not use it, nor did he use his training on how to de-escalate situations. He has been stripped of his badge and gun and placed on modified assignment pending an investigation.
Dozens of protesters marched through Castle Hill with signs last week, with members of Black Lives Matter and NYC Shut It Down joining the demonstrations.
Danner, along with other victims of police shootings, was highlighted Saturday at the Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation rally at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building Plaza in Harlem. Rallies have been held across the country annually Oct. 22 for the past 20 years to bring attention to the issue.
At his weekly rally Saturday, the Rev. Al Sharpton called for a community summit on policing. Bronx Assembly Member Michael Blake spoke at the rally on the shooting, calling for the firing of Barry.
“He needs to lose his job, period,” Blake said. “That’s how it has to be. Number two, we need to make sure that the district attorney is a part of the process of making sure that a true investigation happens.”
Criminal justice activist Mysonne Linen has been rallying outside of the 43rd Precinct in the Bronx and plans to continue to do so until Barry is fired. Linen and others began their daily demonstrations Sunday.
“This man shot a 66-year-old mentally ill woman because she had a bat,” Linen said. “This one was the straw that broke the camel’s back! When they start killing our grandmothers as men we have to step up! We have to protect our grandmothers and mothers!”
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced last week that his office will not investigate Danner’s killing. An executive order went into effect in 2015 after the police killing of Eric Garner, appointing the attorney general to oversee police/civilian shooting investigations. However, Schneiderman said in a statement that the Bronx district attorney must take the lead.
“After reviewing the available facts and evidence, our Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit has determined that this incident falls beyond my office’s jurisdiction under the Governor’s Executive Order No. 147, which grants my office jurisdiction only under limited circumstances,” he said.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in statement that her office plans to look at the situation.
“I intend to conduct a full, reasoned and independent investigation into this matter, with an open mind, and any decisions that I make will be based upon the evidence,” she said.