According to department documents posted online, the NYPD judge who demanded the termination of a sergeant for fatally shooting an emotionally disturbed woman in her Bronx apartment, has criticized the sergeant’s “gross distortions of the truth.” The sergeant’s actions were earlier reported by the New York Daily News.
On this day seven years ago, Sgt. Hugh Barry fatally shot Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old woman, claiming that she was wielding a baseball bat and threatening him.
In 2017, Barry faced serious charges related to murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide. However, he was eventually acquitted in 2018. Nevertheless, he still had to face the consequences of his actions and was brought up on administrative charges. The trial took place at NYPD headquarters in 2022.
On September 22nd, he received notification that Deputy Commissioner of Trials, Rosemarie Maldonado, had recommended him to be found guilty of utilizing poor tactical judgment and initiating the killing, while being found not guilty of neglecting to supervise other officers present at the scene.
In agreement with Maldonado’s proposal, Police Commissioner Edward Caban made the final decision on Barry’s disciplinary action. However, Caban modified the penalty, and Barry ultimately resigned after his 30-day suspension. This decision would still grant him his pension in five years.
According to Maldonado, Barry’s testimony failed to hold up against the convincing evidence, and as a result, he suggested that Barry should be dismissed from his position.
In a scathing critique, the author wrote that the subject’s stubbornness during cross-examination brought into question his character, credibility, and decision-making abilities. The tribunal found that the majority of the credible evidence indicated that the most important parts of the subject’s story were exaggerated and included details that were completely fabricated. These details were added with the intention of reducing the subject’s level of responsibility.
According to Maldonado, Barry had created sufficient distance between himself and Danner, but his decision to approach the individual diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia was an unreasonable and risky move that could have instigated an unsafe encounter rather than prevent it.
In his ruling, Caban did not provide any explanation as to why he altered the punishment of dismissal that Maldonado had suggested.
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