NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The trial resumed Thursday for an NYPD sergeant facing several charges in the 2016 shooting death of an emotionally disturbed Bronx woman.
Sgt. Hugh Barry is charged with murder, first-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of 66-year-old Deborah Danner.
In October of 2016, officers responded to a home after receiving calls of an emotionally disturbed person and encountered Danner with scissors in her hand.
After convincing her to drop the scissors, Danner then picked up a bat and started swinging. Barry’s defense attorney Andrew Quinn said it was then that his client he had to make a choice.
“He had eight-tenths of a second to make that decision, so he fired his weapon twice,” Quinn said.
But the prosecution argues the NYPD knew Danner was emotionally disturbed and that Barry should have used his NYPD-issued stun gun or waited for backup.
“Sgt. Barry’s presence on scene was supposed to provide calm, experience and knowledge,” said Assistant District Attorney Newtown Mendys.
On Tuesday, officers showed support in the courtroom, sporting hats reading “We are Barry.”
City officials and Danner’s sister, Jennifer, have been vocal from the beginning saying the incident was wrong.
“We do have policies and procedures for dealing with emotionally disturbed people and it seems those procedures were not followed,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said in October of 2016.
“I was down the hall from my sister’s apartment when I saw the officers rush in and I heard three gunshots,” Danner’s sister said at the time of the shooting. “My sister’s life was taken because she was ill.”
Jennifer Danner filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city earlier this month.
A judge, not a jury, will decide the outcome of Barry’s trial.