Police Officer Kills Mentally Ill Woman



Sgt. Hugh Barry was stripped of his gun and badge after the incident.

Brianna Valdes, Staff Writer

In New York, officers were called to Deborah Danner’s apartment to deal with reports of a “mentally disturbed” person. Sgt. Hugh Barry was among the officers, but as he urged Danner to drop the scissors that she had in her hand, she jolted at him and tried to hit him with a baseball bat. This resulted in Barry shooting Danner twice. The death of Deborah Danner sparked outrage not only because of her mental state but because she was a black woman.

On a number of occasions, officers were called to Danner’s apartment and each time she was taken to the hospital. Being an officer for eight years, Sgt. Barry knew how to act in dire situations. During the incident, it was reported that he did not follow his training. The head of the the police union, Ed Mullins, argued all of Sgt. Barrys actions were based on self defense.

“It’ doesn’t even shock me anymore. Prejudice is a defense mechanism, it’s just so unfair that there is such deep rooted racism in our society.” ”

— senior Iris Cordero said

Many blame this incident and many others that have occurred in New York on the fact that New York City Police respond to about 128,000 calls about emotionally disturbed people.

“Things like this shock me everyday. Though it is hurtful to see things like this happen, I can only wish that regardless of how someone looks or act we can be safe, regardless of the race. Things like this cause people target police officers when it shouldn’t,” senior Natalie Milian said.

Police shootings have become common over the course of the past few years. Situations like this one have sparked movements, such as the Black Lives Matter campaign.