Realistically, the fact that they’re making a big deal over the fact that a late, 66 year-old Bronx woman named Deborah Danner was allegedly “mentally disturbed” is just another sideways way of adding a justification.
Because the simplest truth is, even if she was screaming her fucking head off – which allegedly caused the cops to be called in the first place – the job of the police once they arrive on the scene is to make sure that everything and everybody is ok.
Once that’s ascertained, get the fuck out of there.
Go back to the precinct.
Go to Dunkin Donuts.
All your continued presence on the scene is gonna do is make things tense.
So as I read parts of the story of Deborah Danner’s murder that I didn’t know, like she was sitting in her bedroom alone when the cops encountered her, I can’t help but think how if a little genuine police work had been at play, she’d still be alive.
All Sargent Hugh Barry, who has been indicted for the murder of Ms. Danner, had to ask was, “You gonna be ok, ma’am?”
Odds she would have answered him, but even if she’d cursed him, he’d already found out that she wasn’t screaming because she was being attacked.
The job was over at that point.
But Ms. Danner was holding some scissors.
And Hugh Barry, though it was none of his business and he shouldn’t have even intruded or given a fuck, told her to drop the scissors.
She did and picked up a baseball bat.
It should have been crystal clear at that point that she wanted to be alone.
Now, really, what point do you have pushing a confrontation with a 66 year-old woman in her own home that hasn’t committed a crime?
But no, because Hugh Barry needed to show some authority and, I’m guessing, subsequently needed to feel some, a 66 year-old woman is dead.
And we already know what his defense is gonna be.
I was “afraid”.
Well, I’ve already debunked fear as a genuine cause of police killings when I noted that the primary response to fear wasn’t to murder what generates your fear with a handgun but to flee from it.
Still, time and time again we witness armed officers of the law claim being terrified as a justification for murdering everything from unarmed men with their hands in the air like Terence Crutcher, men reaching for their wallets to show their ID like Amadou Diallo, and 12 year-old boys with toys like Tamir Rice.
Then, insult to injury, we don’t witness those murderers being treated like the deranged psychopaths they likely are, or even the criminally negligent and inept like they certainly are, but like these deaths are the result of “mistakes”, and not even mistakes made on the part of the murderers, but mistakes made on the part of the dead.
Crutcher shouldn’t have been so close to his car, Diallo shouldn’t have made any furtive movements and 12 year-olds can’t play.
So it’s against this backdrop that I really can’t see a conviction coming for Hugh Barry.
A 66 year-old woman scared him so bad that he had to shoot her twice.
And he’s not even ashamed to admit it.