Sunday 26 January 2020

New York police 'failed' in fatal shooting of mentally-ill woman (66)

NYPD (Stock photo)
NYPD (Stock photo)
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

The New York Police Department "failed" when an officer shot and killed a 66-year-old mentally ill woman who attacked him with a baseball bat in a Bronx apartment.

"We do have policies and procedures for handling emotionally disturbed people, and it looks like that some of those procedures weren't followed. What is clear in this one instance is we failed," police Commissioner James O'Neill told CNN.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said deadly force should only be used in "dire situations."

"The shooting of Deborah Danner is tragic, and it never should have happened," de Blasio said. "It's as simple as that."

According to CNN, officers went to the woman's apartment at 6pm on Tuesday after a neighbour called 911 about a woman "acting in an irrational manner".

A sergeant entered the seventh-floor apartment and saw the woman, who was armed with scissors, but he persuaded her to put them down.

The woman then grabbed a baseball bat and attempted to hit the sergeant.

According to CNN the officer fired two shots, striking the woman in the torso. She died of her injuries after being taken to Jacobi Medical Center.

Deborah Danner was a 66-year-old black female who lived alone.

The woman's cousin, Wallace Cooke Jr., told WCBS-TV that Danner first showed signs of mental illness in college.

"She was a very smart, book-wise person, and she don't deserve to be dead," he said.

Thomas Antonetti of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information said the officer is on "modified assignment" that requires him to be stripped of his gun and badge pending the investigation.

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