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Deborah Danner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Deborah Danner

Deborah Danner. (Facebook)

A New York police sergeant shot and killed an emotionally disturbed naked 66-year-old woman who police say was wielding a pair of scissors and then a baseball bat.

The New York Post identified the officer as Hugh Barry and the woman who was killed as Deborah Danner.

Danner – who called herself a gem in the rough on Twitter and opined about police – was killed by police inside her own apartment bedroom in the Bronx on October 18, according to NBC New York. Danner was shot twice by the officer, said NBC New York.

The mayor and police commissioner have said protocols were not followed. Mayor Bill DeBlasio told NBC New York: “Deborah Danner should be alive right now, period. If the protocols had been followed, she would be alive. It’s as simple as that.”

Some have compared Danner’s shooting to that of Eleanor Bumpurs, 69, who was shot and killed by police in 1984 in her Bronx apartment. In the Bumpers shooting, the officer was called to her apartment for an eviction dispute and was charged with manslaughter, but was acquitted, said The New York Times.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Danner Was Naked & Wielding a Pair of Scissors & Bat

Deborah Danner

Deborah Danner. (Twitter)

At 6:15 p.m. on October 18, a uniformed sergeant, Barry, entered the woman’s apartment. “The sergeant encountered a 66 year-old female in a bedroom who was armed with a pair of scissors,” the NYPD says.

NBC New York said the woman was naked.

The official police account then says the sergeant “engaged the female in conversation and persuaded her to put down the scissors.”

However, the incident didn’t end there.

“After putting down the scissors the female subject approached the sergeant and grabbed a baseball bat,” the NYPD says. “As she attempted to strike the sergeant he fired two shots from his service revolver striking her in the torso.”

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2. Danner Had Schizophrenia & Wrote About Black Lives Matter on Twitter, Calling Herself a ‘Gem in the Rough’

The call came in for an emotionally disturbed person.

According to The NYPD, at approximately 6:06 p.m., police in the 43rd Precinct “responded to a 911 call for an Emotionally Disturbed Person at 630 Pugsley Avenue in the Bronx.” ABC7 said the caller told police the woman was armed with scissors in a hallway.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Raphelle Gundy, who lives in the building, “said she thought the woman had mental issues and neighbors often heard violent noises coming from her home.”

The neighbor said the woman became more disturbed when her mother died and told The Wall Street Journal that neighbors “would think somebody’s in there fighting her or attacking this lady. She’s hollering and screaming and talking like she’s going to hurt somebody.”

ABC7 said, “The cops were there practically once a month when she was off the meds.” Another neighbor told The New York Post, “She’s always screaming every day. Cursing and screaming. She’s just very angry when she’s not on her medication.”

On Twitter, Danner described herself as “a work in progress, I am a gem in the rough. I’ll smooth out soon..”

Some of her posts were political. She wrote, “With so much GUN VIOLENCE around us innocents, would someone PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE sponsor AMENDING THE 2ND AMENDMENT to reflect the 21s…”

She also wrote about police: “BEWARE: OFFICER(s) / PROVOCATEUR(s) + ANGER = RIOT(s)” and “WHAT A WORLD TO LIVE IN WHERE IT’S NECESSARY TO PUT POLICE IN JAIL…HAIL UTOPIA.” She also wrote: “Point of the Conversation: How’d U like to move about w/a TARGET on you because of the color of your skin? BLACK LIVES MATTER!

And she tweeted: “Wherever this Life’s Journey leads and whatever happens, I GO DOWN FIGHTING!!!!”

Her cousin is a former NYPD officer.


3. A State Lawmaker Called the Shooting ‘Indefensible’ & the Police Commissioner Says Protocols Weren’t Followed

New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Wednesday, according to NBC New York: “What is clear in this one instance, we failed. I want to know why it happened. We do have policies and procedures for handling emotionally disturbed people and it looks like some of those procedures weren’t followed.”

The commissioner said officers are trained to not take life if it can be avoided, according to CNN.

State Senator Ruben Diaz, Bronx Borough president, condemned the shooting as “indefensible” and an “outrage.”

“While I certainly understand the hard work that our police officers undertake to keep the streets of our city safe every single day, I also know what excessive force looks like,” Diaz said. “This elderly woman was known to the police department, yet the officer involved in this shooting failed to use discretion to either talk her down from her episode or, barring that, to use his stun gun.”

Diaz compared the shooting to the Bumpurs’ slaying and lamented that the city had learned little in three decades.

The mayor said he had been briefed on the shooting and, according to NBC New York, he added that Danner’s sister was waiting to help her but police shot Danner instead.

The NYPD says the shooting is under investigation.

Bumpurs had a knife and threatened to throw lye, and her case is often listed in New York cases of police interaction with emotionally disturbed people.


4. The Officer Was Armed With a Taser but Didn’t Use It

The officer, Barry, was carrying a taser but didn’t use it, according to CBS New York. The New York Post said the officer has no disciplinary record.

One woman told The New York Daily News that she saw officers giving the woman CPR: “They were giving her CPR trying to bring her back but she was purple already. You could tell her color was changing and they were pumping her.”

The New York Daily News said Barry was placed on “modified duty,” an action sharply criticized by the police union, which called his actions justified. That means he loses his gun and shield until the investigation concludes, says the Daily News.

“Everyone agrees that this is a good shooting,” Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association, said to The Daily News. Barry had two prior settled brutality lawsuits, said NBC New York.


5. A Neighbor Had Complained That Danner Was Acting in an ‘Irrational Manner,’ Police Say

The NYPD said in the news release that “the first officers arrived at the location within one minute and they were directed to the 7th floor, where a neighbor made a complaint regarding a female who was acting in an irrational manner.”

On Twitter, citizens questions why the call had to lead to shooting Danner.

Officers encountered Danner in a bedroom, said CBS New York.

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24 comments

  1. So acting irrational is a death sentence at the hands of police in NYC blood thirsty cops know they can kill with impunity and get a paid vacation—how do they sleep after killing another human? OH THAT’S RIGHT—-to cops people, especially people of color are lower than animals and need to “brought to heel” Maybe it’s time to hunt down and exact our own brand of justice against these cops who escape under the guise of a fair justice system—–DO UNTO OTHERS AS THEY DO UNTO YOU….

    • So the cop should have let this nut stab him right? Mind you, he was responding to a complaint from a neighbor who has to tolerate her endless, violent outbursts. Maybe next time “Rev.” Al should respond to a call like this, and save the cops for the communities that actually respect them and appreciate their presence.

      • That’s a GREAT IDEA!!! Send black, non-police leaders to these sort of issues and see how quickly they call the cops! But when they do call the cops they have to say whatever happens they (the black, non-police leaders) must take full responsibility…they would be considered mediators…..

      • No, what the cop should have done was implement the concept of equal force – something inbreds like you are incapable of understanding.

        • Equal force? Are you kidding me. While I will wait for further details before I defend or accuse the officer, the officers have a right to protect themselves. It does seem like this woman should have been in an institution. According to statements made by her neighbors she did act in threatening and dangerous manner. They were so afraid they called the police. Was the officer wearing a camera? I hate to say it but I think camera’s should become mandatory for all officers – but you have to realize once that is the case those video’s will be used as evidence in court/

      • Stab him?! She had scissors, which she was talked into putting down. Why didn’t he go one step further and back out of the doorway (with gun trained on her), WAIT FOR REINFORCEMENTS, and then talk her down or take her down!! They take people down all the time without killing them. At least, they used to. It must interfere with their MANicures, so they just shoot now. And I think you’re right about getting ministers, the community, etc. involved in what’s going down now. Although, you meant it as a dig against a “Rev.” who’s clearly been out of the limelight for a while now. Anything to spread your hate. You’ve done what everyone else does. Dig deep to find the slightest excuse to shoot and kill someone. The cops aren’t trained to deal with mental issues. They also aren’t trained to be tolerant with perpetrators of a crime. We have a problem here. No doubt. Communities, law enforcement, the mental health dept., social services…all of them need to work together now. Form a coalition, a board, anything to at least start talking about this outrage that’s hit our society. Back to old school, cop on the beat, get to know your neighborhood, your police officers, etc. We can do this!

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  2. If I didn’t know any better I would say they blow these situations out of proportion and use them to deflect attention away from the real problems like the 12 people shot in Chiraq on Monday bringing the death toll in that city to 3,000 PLUS IN THE PAST 10 MONTHS. If you pay attention to less prominent news feed you’ll pick up on things like this. People need to wake up.

    Having said that you don’t assault police with a deadly weapon and expect the outcome to be positive. Not to mention every time someone attacks a cop they state they have a mental issue. So let’s not only play the race card lets play that one to death to as well. This isn’t to say that all the people are lying but you need to read between the lines…….. If she was that unstable and unpredictable she should of been in a straight jacket.

    • You are about as ignorant as they get. Straight jacket??? Her mom just died. She probably has no one to see that she’s taking her meds. I’m sure she’s on her own. No social services or community reaching out to her! And fyi…most of these cases you hear/read about are now qualifying as mental health issues because THEY ARE! Good God, you can read one or two sentences of any of the stories and know that mental illness is THE issue. Why do you think so many people are homeless, banging their heads on walls and pacing and spitting and yelling. That’s normally NOT drugs. But the country should follow YOUR advice and put them all in straight jackets. Problem solved. Only problem is moron, there’s no place to put them !!!!

      • So where is Obama now. Catering to the poor inner city communities was suppose to be one of his main talking points and why is it all of a sudden that all these “victims” of police shootings are mentally impaired. It could be that Obama and the democratic ran cities have failed the inner cities making people go crazy and resorting to violence. Something to think about. Those places you’re referring to are called insane asylums. I notice to they jump straight to 2nd amendment gun control bs. Typical.

      • You know there is a democratic group that has recently been caught red handed recruiting mentally disturbed individuals to incite violence towards trump supporters. I believe it’s the same group (veritas something) that was busted on camera doing something similar. What makes you think they aren’t using the same tactics in this regard.

  3. when dealing with a black suspect call , the police can no longer respond. only a black community leader must be called & let someone black he appoints…maybe a neighbor, or themselves to handle the situation. best solution. when they find themselves at the end of a bat, scissors, knife, etc…they will come crying for the cops to come back. also funny….she a schizo & a blm fan! so perfect.

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  5. The police did the community a service. Have you lived next door to a mentally ill woman? Listen to rages and carrying on all hours of the day? Yeah, they should have used a taser.