Ms. Danner was killed on Oct. 18 after Sergeant Barry and different officers responded to 911 calls of a lady appearing erratically at an condominium constructing within the Citadel Hill neighborhood.
Inside hours of her dying, the sergeant was stripped of his badge and gun and positioned on modified obligation, though the police, in their initial account, said that Ms. Danner had tried to swing a wooden bat at him.
Mayor Invoice de Blasio and the police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said Sergeant Barry had not followed police protocol for coping with individuals with psychological sickness. Particularly, he didn’t use his stun gun to attempt to subdue Ms. Danner, and he didn’t look forward to a specialised Emergency Service Unit to reach.
On Wednesday afternoon, Sergeant Barry, 31, appeared in courtroom within the Bronx, wearing a go well with. Standing earlier than Decide Robert A. Neary, Sergeant Barry stored his eyes ahead as his lawyer, Andrew C. Quinn, entered a plea of not responsible on his behalf. Decide Neary set bail at $100,00zero, and Sergeant Barry was escorted from the courtroom.
After Ms. Danner’s dying, the Bronx district lawyer, Darcel D. Clark, requested the state to impanel a particular grand jury to listen to proof within the case. However the state lawyer common, who has the facility to research police shootings of unarmed individuals, declined to pursue a proper inquiry, suggesting the preliminary proof had confirmed that Ms. Danner was armed when she was killed.
Ms. Clark, a former decide and the spouse of a metropolis police detective, took over the investigation and sought a grand jury in December.
On Wednesday, Edward D. Mullins, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Affiliation, blasted the grand jury’s choice. After the sergeant was charged, the mayor stated the demise “was a tragedy felt deeply by our metropolis.”
In a press release, Mr. Mullins stated Commissioner O’Neill’s criticism, “earlier than any investigation was even commenced,” had “undoubtedly tainted the grand jury pool and denied any semblance of due course of” for the sergeant.
Over the previous few years, a number of killings of unarmed individuals by the police have elevated strain on prosecutors to pursue legal instances towards officers. Fees have been filed in a number of outstanding instances — together with within the deaths of males in Baltimore; North Charleston, S.C.; and Tulsa, Okla. — however such instances are troublesome.
In Baltimore, prosecutors dropped charges against three of the officers concerned after failing to win convictions towards three different officers charged within the case. In Tulsa, a jury acquitted the officer, and in North Charleston, the state trial of an officer on homicide and manslaughter expenses led to a mistrial, although the officer, who had been fired, eventually pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights cost.
In Brooklyn, a police officer, Peter Liang, was charged within the deadly capturing of an unarmed man, Akai Gurley, within the stairwell of a public housing complicated in Brooklyn. Mr. Liang was convicted last year of manslaughter however was sentenced to a term of probation, a choice that outraged Mr. Gurley’s household.
The encounter between Ms. Danner and the police lasted 15 to 20 minutes, within the shut quarters of her seventh-floor house at 630 Pugsley Avenue, officers stated. It started with 911 calls from neighbors who had heard Ms. Danner being “loud and disruptive” within the hallway, Wanda Perez-Maldonado, an assistant district lawyer, stated in courtroom. It was not the primary time the police had been referred to as to her residence.
4 officers and two paramedics arrived round 6 p.m. and Sergeant Barry arrived minutes later. The encounter ended with Sergeant Barry firing twice, fatally wounding Ms. Danner, who was in her bed room.
The sergeant might face life in jail if convicted of probably the most critical cost.
Initially, the police stated that Sergeant Barry persuaded Ms. Danner to drop a pair of scissors, however that she picked up a bat and tried to swing at him. Solely Sergeant Barry was within the bed room with Ms. Danner.
Sergeant Barry testified earlier than the grand jury final week, stated Mr. Quinn, who declined to offer particulars.
In courtroom, Mr. Quinn referred to as the case an apparent occasion of what’s recognized beneath New York regulation as a “justification protection.” Beneath state regulation, officers can use lethal drive once they fairly consider lethal pressure is about for use towards them or another person. Sergeant Barry can argue that he acted in self-defense, former prosecutors and protection legal professionals stated.
“If somebody is coming at you with a bat, that’s lethal bodily drive,” stated Marvyn Kornberg, a Queens protection lawyer who has dealt with police instances.
At trial, the notion of the officer virtually all the time turns into a important concern. A jury should determine if Sergeant Barry had cause to consider his life was threatened within the second he fired. The prosecution should present the killing was capricious and unjustified as a result of the sergeant had options to utilizing lethal drive, resembling retreating or utilizing a Taser.
Within the case of Ms. Bumpurs, she was holding a kitchen knife when the police, summoned throughout eviction proceedings, stormed her Bronx condominium. Officer Stephen Sullivan shot her, first within the hand, then within the chest. The Bronx district lawyer on the time charged Officer Sullivan with second-degree homicide and criminally negligent murder. He was tried and acquitted in 1987.
Ms. Danner was killed because the Police Division was shifting to coach rank-and-file patrol officers within the type of de-escalation techniques practiced by officers within the Emergency Service Unit of their dealings with mentally unwell individuals. Sergeant Barry had not undergone the coaching.
A relative of Ms. Danner, Wallace Cooke Jr., who retired from the Police Division in 1984 after 15 years as an officer, stated he welcomed information of the arrest of Sergeant Barry.
“It’s about time that they be held accountable for his or her motion,” Mr. Cooke, 74, stated in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Charles J. Hargreaves, a lawyer for the state’s Psychological Hygiene Authorized Providers who represented Ms. Danner in a guardianship case a number of years in the past, stated that the indictment gave him no pleasure.
“I’ve all the time been of the thoughts that she was terrified on the time,” Mr. Hargreaves stated. “I wasn’t there, however what was the emergency that they couldn’t haven’t gone into the condo and waited for E.M.S. or another person?”