Bronx, NYC - NYPD Sergeant Hugh Barry has been indicted on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges after an investigation by a grand jury.
Sergeant Barry surrendered in Bronx Criminal Court Wednesday and was taken into custody. He has court scheduled for later in the afternoon, according to ABC7NY.
New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association described the incident:
On October 19, 2016, Sgt. Hugh Barry, an eight-year veteran of the department with an exemplary record, responded to a call of an emotionally disturbed person named Deborah Danner in the confines of the 43 Precinct.
Sgt. Barry took immediate charge of the situation by convincing Ms. Danner to put down a pair of scissors that she was gripping tightly in her hands. As each of you know, this is done by many members of this department on a daily basis.
However, rather than leave the apartment, Ms. Danner ran back into the bedroom and grabbed a baseball bat. Sgt. Barry pursued her into the bedroom. Ms. Danner refused repeated orders to drop the bat and swung it directly at Sgt. Barry's head.
Fearing for his own life, as well as the lives of others, Sgt. Barry fired two shots from his service weapon and mortally wounded Ms. Danner. Today, in an absolute travesty of justice, he was indicted for murder by a Bronx grand jury.
“We failed,”NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said after the shooting, "That's not how it's supposed to go. It's not how we train."
Mayor Bill de Blasio called the shooting “tragic and unacceptable.”
“It should never have happened. It’s as simple as that: it should never have happened. The NYPD’s job is to protect life,” de Blasio said.
“Police work is not an exact science, often requiring split second decision-making in the midst of hostile and life-threatening situations,” the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association said in a statement. “Sgt. Barry did what the law allows and what the Department trained him to do.”
In their statement, the PBA said:
Neither Commissioner O'Neill nor the Mayor were anywhere near the place of occurrence, but they displayed blatant vitriol and lack of leadership in making such incendiary blanket public comments prior to the facts even being in.
Instead, they immediately poisoned the well, supplanting in the hearts and minds of a gullible public, the grand jury pool and Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark that a crime had occurred. They did not just throw Sgt. Barry under the bus; in the court of public opinion they ran over him with a steam roller.
In the aftermath of this tragic event, scores of NYPD members from the upper echelons of the Department, including many who worked closely with the Commissioner, called the SBA offices to express support for Sgt. Barry and disappointment and disenchantment with Commissioner O'Neill.
Any illusions of him being a "cop's cop" were gone forever, as he kowtowed to the whims of the feckless Mayor and District Attorney Clark, both of whose moral compass is dictated by which way the political winds are blowing.
Do you think that this shooting sounds justified? We'd like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.