1 Police Plaza
NYPD’s newly appointed top cop met with the five police union heads Friday to discuss the highly publicized shooting death of a mentally ill woman in the Bronx.
Deborah Danner, 66, was shot twice when she allegedly reached for a bat after police were called to her Bronx home Oct., 18. Danner, known for struggling with schizophrenia, was in her apartment throwing a fit and walking around naked, according to police who arrived at the scene.
Sgt. Hugh Barry, one of the responding officers, stated that Danner attempted to strike him with a bat after dropping scissors she allegedly had in her hand when police first arrived. Barry, a second-generation police officer who has spent eight years on the job, reached for his gun—instead of a taser or stun gun—and discharged two rounds, both hitting Danner in the torso. She later died at the hospital.
The shooting immediately sparked protests and calls for justice, as both Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner O’Neill condemned the shooting the following day at a news conference, calling it “tragic” and “unacceptable.”
In the hourlong breakfast between NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and the union heads at 1 Police Plaza, the Danner shooting was the top focus—despite the fact that the meeting occurred behind closed doors. After it was over, the top officials avoided questions, but Pat Lynch, the NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President, told Daily News reporters, “It was a frank discussion.” And mentioned that the Deborah Danner shooting was the main concentration of the meeting.
However, sources closely involved in the meeting saw it as a way to clear the air between the Police Commissioner and the union heads after O’Neill was called “neutered” for his comments condemning the shooting.
The officer involved in the shooting remains on modified duty, stripped of his gun and badge, as investigators continue to probe the case.