An NYPD sergeant has been charged with murder for a shooting that took place last year (2016). Sgt. Hugh Barry shot and killed a 66-year-old, mentally ill Deborah Danner last October inside her Bronx home.
The indictment of Sgt. Barry marked the first time since 1999 that a city cop faces a top homicide count.
A Bronx grand jury rejected Barry’s testimony aimed at showing he had been justified in firing at Deborah Danner.
Bronx prosecutors said Barry had failed to get critical background information about Danner’s mental health and that he had disregarded his NYPD training “in dealing with emotionally disturbed persons, by rushing into Ms. Danner’s apartment.”
Sgt. Barry, who is an eight-year veteran of the force, stood silently as his lawyer entered a plea of not guilty to second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the shooting of the elderly victim. He later posted $100,000 bond and departed without comment.
“Debbie had no reason to die, and the cop had no reason to shoot her,” said Wallace Cooke, 74, an NYPD retiree and Danner’s cousin.
Barry becomes the first NYPD officer charged with murder in an on-duty shooting since four officers fired 41 shots at unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo in 1999.