The New York Police Department sergeant who fatally shot a 66-year-old mentally ill woman in 2016 has been found not guilty, NBC New York reports.
NYPD Sgt. Hugh Barry, who had been charged in the fatal shooting of Deborah Danner, got off on all counts brought against him. Barry was charged with second-degree murder, two counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. He was facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Danner was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who had been hospitalized at least 10 times. Police were called to her apartment in October 2016 because she was reportedly acting in an irrational manner. Arriving at the scene, Sgt. Hugh Barry found the woman wielding a pair of scissors. Though Barry convinced Danner to put down the scissors, a police report says she came after him with a baseball ball.
He then shot her twice. Danner died at the hospital.
The judge told the courtroom that the prosecution had failed to meet its burden of proof. Outside the courtroom, a spokesman for the Danner family told NBC New York that they were “devastated.”
“While I offer empathy and sympathy to the Danner family, I have nothing but outrage ... for the malicious prosecution that was conducted for the most nefarious of reasons,” said Sgt. Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association.
Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill both condemned the shooting at the time.
“What is clear in this one instance, we failed. I want to know why it happened,” said Commissioner James O’Neill. “That’s not how it’s supposed to go. It’s not how we train.”