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“Authorities in New York were sharply critical Wednesday of a police sergeant responding to a call about an ’emotionally disturbed person’ on Tuesday night who officials said fatally shot a 66-year-old woman wielding a baseball bat,” washingtonpost.com reports.

Police said they were investigating the shooting that occurred in the Bronx apartment of Deborah Danner, who authorities said was known to officers after previous, similar calls about her. In blunt public statements on Wednesday, officials said Sgt. Hugh Barry did not follow his training and said they were seeking to determine why he fired his gun rather than his Taser.

Because a woman was about to beat him to death with a baseball bat?

I’ve spoken with TASER many times about the use of their products by law enforcement. Spokesman Steve Tuttle was adamant that a TASER is not the solution to a lethal threat. There are times when a firearm is your best, perhaps even only bet.

There is an idea out there that a TASER provides foolproof instant incapacitation. Not so. There are lot of ways a TASER shot can go wrong, from an officer missing his or her target to the prongs failing to connect enough to deliver a full electronic charge.

Here’s the early report about this incident:

When [Sergeant] Barry went inside at about 6:15 p.m., Danner was holding scissors, Nikunen said. The sergeant talked with Danner and persuaded her to put the scissors down, but she then picked up a baseball bat and tried to hit Barry, prompting him to fire two shots at her torso, Nikunen said.

Danner was taken to Jacobi Hospital and pronounced dead.

If Officer Barry was in the midst of a standoff, at a stand off distance, a TASER may have been a better choice. But we don’t know all the details surrounding this homicide. So it’s best to wait before passing judgement.

Someone should tell Mayor DeBlasio and the NYPD brass.

“The shooting of Deborah Danner is tragic and it is unacceptable,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “It should never have happened. It’s as simple as that. It should never have happened.”

New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said earlier Wednesday that “we failed” and he wanted to know why.

I’m well known in these parts for being inherently suspicious of police. But I believe that police officers deserve the same consideration any civilian deserves: the presumption of innocence.

The rush to judgement, no, the assumption that most if not all officer-involved shootings are unjustified reflects the political correctness poisoning our view of law enforcement. More than that, it puts police and the public at risk. Hanging an officer out to dry before a complete review makes them less likely to do the job to which they’ve been assigned.

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71 Responses to BREAKING: NYPD Says “We Failed” In Shooting Baseball Bat-Wielding Woman

  1. Once again, we have a well known crazy person roaming the streets, who should have been locked up. But no, we can’t lock up the crazies in this country. We can do nothing except shoot them when they finally freak out, then take away normal people’s guns.

    Will we hear calls now to confiscate bats? These weapons of sports have no place on our streets.

    • Yeah, this is one of those that could branch off in a lot of different directions. Big difference between a light frail 66 year old and an active heavy set 66 year old. Unknown level of hand to hand training for the officer. Are NY police taught how to defend against a baseball bat? Are scissor a deadly weapon? Well, if a knife is, so are scissor, so the office was justified in having his gun draw because of the scissor, was he unable to defend against the bat because he had his hands occupied with his gun? Was this the 20th call to the woman’s place and the office was just tired of dealing with her?

      Oh, and how is it again beneficial to the mentally insane to be mixed into the general population? Seems like they’d be less likely to get injured or die if they were in an institution.

      • I would happily risk getting hit with a bat by a 66 year old woman to avoid having to shoot her, especially with a vest on. Point beats the edge,yeah?

        • You are only presuming a 66 year old woman could not hit hard–I know plenty that could–if he took a heavy slam to the head, he would be out & she may have beat him to death–we were not there

      • “Oh, and how is it again beneficial to the mentally insane to be mixed into the general population? Seems like they’d be less likely to get injured or die if they were in an institution.”

        Have you ever visited one of those “institutions”? Regardless of the goodwill of the staff, the conditions are wretched. What you see in movies about the horror houses of mental institutions is one of the rare times Hollywood gets it right. Patients are harmed daily in “institutions”. What you may read about bad treatment in private nursing homes is only a dim view into the snake pit that are mental institution. It is this morass that led to “mainstreaming” the mentally ill. As humans, do we want to make the vulnerable trash and refuse? Letting them roam the streets unattended is also a betrayal. There is no easy (cheap?) answer. But ignoring it usually helps….those who are not mentally ill.

        • @rake

          I’m sure by the time everything is all said and done the costs to investigate and prosecute this officer and the accompanying lawsuits will outweigh the cost of 30 years of care.

    • Because “crazies”, while the government works diligently and unconstitutionally to deny them their right to keep and bear arms, are still able to vote so long as they are on the meds long enough to be bused to the polls. (And instructed which lever (D) to pull.)

    • I can agree that many dangerous persons are not being locked up until they are no longer a danger. Also, we have lots of people in prison for non-violent crimes that could be handled with huge fines, for crimes like insider trading.
      When someone is a serious and immediate threat deadly force is not only justified but many times the only responsibile action. More people are killed from bats than from rifles every year in the US,.
      We need to have basic laws against actions like murder, assault, robbery and rape with rigorous enforcement. Laws, such as gun control laws, need to be revoked for the most part.

  2. At what point will the beta-male infection come full circle and make the authorities the “victim” of something? Or is this a look into the future where all cops are expected to feel “blue guilt” any time a cop does anything, justified or not?

    • Is that how we WANT police to respond?

      “Crapioca pudding, this crazy person who I was called here to confront is in fact lethally dangerous! Welp, I’l outta here! Good luck, y’all – try to avoid getting murdered in your sleep.”

      • Yes. If cops get blue flu, we can have a real, true debate about the need for regular citizens to be armed. And get rid of the continuous second guessing of use of force decisions. Everyone wins. Except for normal citizens getting hurt in the interim.

        Eggs<omelettes.

      • Do we even know if the killer was in her home legally, or if she got murdered for defending her home from illegal invaders?

  3. Someone coming at you with a baseball bat qualifys as a lethal threat.

    A lethal threat to you warrents a lethal response.

    Be it Cop, Sum Joe, Firefighter, etc.

    This isn’t that hard, and apologizing is only going to make the next encounter harder.

    • Not always. It depends on the physical ability of the person with the bat. If a 30 year old, 6 foot, 200 pound man came at be with a bat, I certainly would shoot. He is so much younger, bigger and stronger than I that I have no chance of fighting him off hand to hand. On the other hand, if a 10 year old kid comes at met with a bat, I still am strong enough to rip it from his hands and throw it out of his reach. No need to shoot in that case.

  4. We all know how much the NYPD officers love their mayor, which is to say they basically hate his guts.

    A boss who publicly throws his own subordinates under the bus is a walking failure of leadership.

    • “We failed” but “We” aren’t the ones who are called to actually confront people armed and ready for batting practice.

  5. We need more details. How did the officer fail to follow protocol for handling a mentally disturbed person? One element in justifying the use of force is that it be proportionate to the threat. An experienced cop should be able to handle an elderly woman without shooting her even if she is swinging a bat.

    • Sixty six isn’t elderly. Plenty of people ten years beyond that are still healthy, working and physically fit.

      The woman may have outweighed the officer by 100 pounds. I don’t know how much information is available now. But we can’t assume she was weak, frail and slow.

      • My dad is 64 and can still crack a baseball over 200ft. If he can hit the ball with that much force, imagine your skull in place of the ball; bet your brain won’t be thinking very much after that hit.

  6. Taser is not an automatic magic wand. Its effect on the subject depends on many variables, such as obesity, drugs, state of mind, health, anger, and proximity of the subject. Wait for all the facts to surface before making your mind up on this. DMD

  7. I’m sorry…wait, no I’m not. Any male officer who can’t disarm a 66 year old woman with a baseball bat shouldn’t b e a cop.
    Yes I have formal martial arts training, but then cops have hand to hand training also. A club is very easy to defeat.
    What a piss-poor example of police work.
    I suspect what happened is crazy-lady didn’t drop the bat per the officers “commands” and blam blam blam!

    Effing disgusting!

    • Truth is you don’t know.
      But why not assume you do and pass judgement absent real facts right?
      You are stereotyping her assuming she was frail.
      What if she was two-bucks fifty? What if she is high?
      She could easily hit you in the head, concuss you. and take your service weapon.
      Heck a 12-year old could do that if lucky.
      Then she is a crazy with a service pistol.
      Do you risk everyone’s lives over that risk when she is the perp and started the trouble?

      • Yeah yeah what if. We can play that game all day long. I’m not getting rattled because a 12 year old or 66 year old woman, crazy or not, has a bat. I’ve dealt with crazies before.

    • Don’t you know you are supposed to “obey” any and all police officer commands, even if you are mentally deranged (or drunk or high or deaf or don’t speak / understand the language, etc, etc.). You are also required to remain calm and not make any sudden movements, even when the commands are being repeatably screamed at you or, better yet, being given conflicting commands by two different screaming officers at the same time. If told to hand the officer your license, ID, etc, do not immediately follow the command by reaching for it, but rather, ask permission to follow the command just given…or you may be shot and it will probably be deemed your fault, even though you were doing as you were told…

      I’m old enough to remember when policemen used to be polite, sensible, and flexible in their approach, and in the old days, they didn’t do all this screaming at the top of their lungs. They didn’t have to be taught “DE-escalation” or to handle drunks or retards differently…it was just common sense. And with revolvers, there was a lot more attention paid to when to shoot, who to shoot, and how often to shoot…none of this spraying the neighborhood with bullets, as so often happens today.

      • Yeah, but there is nothing so UNcommon as ‘common sense’. Particularly in today’s world of brainless zombie sheep, both in and out of black uniforms and whether or not they choose to call their black ski masks “balaclavas”…

    • I just hope I’m not home if the cops come to my door and kill my dogs. I’ll probably end up dead or in jail for shooting the officer involved. See my “rant” above about the “old days”…in the “old days”, police did not routinely kill people’s pets or guard dogs. This is a relatively new phenomenon, one that needs to stop.

      • “Routine” is relative. Fewer than 10% of LEOs in your average department chalk up more than 50% of that department’s dog kills. In a perfect world, we’d just fire the dog killers and be glad we got rid of them before they became people killers.

  8. The London police never seem to encounter such “failure”. Why is that?

    People believe in the “fairness” and “safety” of TASERs to end the most violent of situations. The company spokesperson (PC) stated that TASER is not designed to be the “go to” weapon in potentially lethal situations. Is that something they herald to prospective buyers? Is that something they show in regular font on/in their advertising?

    Just saying

    • London police get killed. Heck, service members get hacked to death in the street with machetes. stabbing are very common. Lethal many.

      • Waiting for the link to a London cop being killed by a 66YO or older woman with a blunt instrument. Ever. Hell I’ll even throw in the entire countries of UK, France, Germany.

        I still say this goes to the ROE changes due to woman being added to the police force. Most policewoman using a billy club would NOT win a fight against the average male so the ROE were changed to shoot at the first hint of danger. After a while the police men liked having that luxury option plopped in their lap.

      • Yes, London police are sometimes killed, but they have very, very instances of “fails” such as the one this thread is about, right?

        London police understand the risks, and are doing their jobs with full knowledge. Their society apparently decided that a few fatalities among police, in trade for near-zero among the public (criminals) is highly prized over what America endures.

        Just something to consider about two different policing philosophies.

  9. We, the members of the peanut gallery, are free to speculate all we like. On rare occasion, one or another of us on either side will make a valid point.
    Where I draw the line is at any public official speaking publicly before a jury has rendered a verdict. I would prefer that no public official say anything that is not a verified fact. If a prosecutor makes a statement it ought to be after he has an indictment and everything he says ought to be supported by statements in the indictment.
    Behavior such as in this case, or that of the Baltimore prosecutor, serves merely to purge the ranks of law enforcement officers of our best police. What then will we be left with? Thugs who represent our worst fears about police behavior?

  10. Yea, another person that should not be a cop… Maybe if he stayed away from Dunkin Donuts, he’d be fit enough to disarm an old lady. Fatass.

      • “You’re”…I guess I’m one too. I worked in a facility for the developmentally disabled many years ago. I had to subdue very large crazy men completely unarmed. And I did without a problem. A 66 year old crazy gal should be a cinch for a fit MALE cop…and I in no way support the evil mayor of NYC.

  11. To the various muni police departments of your typical urban centers, a police involved fatality of unacceptable. If the cop dies its bad, if the assailant dies its tragic.

    Not really sure if they have a back up plan to the burgeoning “ferguson effect” that is only going to get worse. If no one is allowed to win the altercation than the only option there is is to not have one in the first place. That can only be accomplished by the cops as the criminal is not going to stop being a criminal. That means the Police have to, for all intent and purpose, stop being cops.

    • Yes. That is the elephant in the room the anti-ploice and BLM folks don’t want to consider.
      If society keeps crucifying cops for eliminating lethal threats, eventually cops will just retreat from them or never even take the call and let the community deal with them.
      If the community thinks they can do better why don’t they step up and do it then?
      Because they know damn well they’d get killed so they pay cops as their “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” expendable patsies to be thrown under the bus at will.
      We are a few short years from serious crime waves and too few seem to care or be able to see where this is heading.
      I used to call the film (Judge) Dredd (the latest one with Karl Urban) fantasy, now I am not so sure it isn’t America’s inner cities and large metros in 20 years after socialism bankrupts our economy.

      • You really do not understand, do you?

        Cops are supposed to do their jobs, regardless of risk or threat, without harming anyone else, for any reason. That’s why they get really big salaries, and gigantic pensions. They are uniformed social workers.

        Can’t we just all get along?

        • That’s right. If faced with assault, police should just put distance between themselves and the assaulter person. Run away if they must. Call for back-up with nets and nerf balls. If the threat of arrest and jail are not enough to subdue the suspect, well, that is the price you pay for living in a free country. Stuff happens.

          And don’t forget that really outrageously generous salary and pension. Nobody should be hurt or injured because the police cannot conduct business without getting all John Wayne (Marion Morrison), and guns and stuff.

        • Ok then.

          But nets and nerf balls hurt. They violate your harm principal.

          Harsh language only.

          Wait, hurt feelings.

          Ahh, well.

      • “If the community thinks they can do better why don’t they step up and do it then? Because they know damn well they’d get killed …” Wrong. They know damn well more effort would be invested in investigating, prosecuting and punishing them than ever was invested in doing those things to the criminals who were preying on them.

  12. A few unmentioned details. The cop was already the subject of two lawsuits for violence against blacks, and in at least one, the city settled. Also, this was a woman well-known to the police [four calls in the past year] as being schizophrenic. There was apparently a special unit on the way to handle her. So getting out of the apartment and keeping the door closed for a short while seems to have been a viable option.

  13. Remember, we’re hearing mayor dibutthole whining about the shooting. We also know only what the media has reported. So to sum up, we know nothing except that the mayor is a tool.

  14. Mr. Farago,

    I appreciate your attempt to give the police officer the benefit of the doubt.

    However, I have a hard time seeing a 66 year old woman with a baseball bat as a reasonable threat of death or grievous bodily harm. Unless she was in remarkable physical condition and played a LOT of softball throughout her life, I just cannot see a 66 year old woman being able to swing a bat with much speed or force.

    Could a women at that age in average physical condition hit you in the arm or leg with a bat? Maybe. Would it hurt? Probably. Would it cause serious bodily injury? Doubtful … especially since you should be able to deflect/block the bat with an arm.

    Methinks this was a bad shoot.

  15. “But I believe that police officers deserve the same consideration any civilian deserves: the presumption of innocence.”

    And yet you accept the police version of events without a shred of doubt, i.e. you presume the 66 year woman is guilty of assault (thus justifying the killing) because the cop said so.

  16. I believe it’s time to disarm the NYC police before NWO sets in…May save more lives…Especially, the elderly…Its a felon in most states to assault an elderly person over 60 years old…..

  17. Why are police even expected to respond to BS like this? They’re law enforcement, not babysitters for the mentally defective. Let the families and “community” deal with the fruit cakes. If the public actually gives a rats ass, they’ll find the political will and money to bring back institutionalization for the dangerous mentally ill.

  18. Police and law abiding citizens who use a firearm in a defensive situation should be held to the same standard. In the case of the officer who was confronted by a 66 year old woman approaching him with a baseball bat, did the officer feel that he was at risk of great bodily harm or even death with no other option other than to fire his weapon?

    If so, the officer had the right to defend himself. Same applies to officer Darrel Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting – Officer Wilson had the right to defend himself from a beating that could have resulted in serious injury or being disarmed and shot with his own weapon.

    Bottom line – Police and law abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves from being beaten by an attacker.

  19. Cops give up their rights when they take the King’s coin. They now work under privileges. As such, they have no right to self defense. Their lives and safety are subordinate to those of the citizens. If that means a cop gets beat down by an old woman with a ball bat, then so be it. Better 1000 cops die, than one citizen be harmed by a government employee. Citizens should be armed, not government employees.

  20. Most significantly RF said “best to wait before passing judgement”, and of course he is right. This could have been the best an officer could do or the worst. The officer should have the same rights of due process that the rest of us do, no more, no less.

  21. So I guess the appropriate response would have been for the police sergeant to pull out his own baseball bat, matching but not exceeding the lethal force applied by the perp? Wait, we better provision the officer with two baseball bats…one metal and one wood, just to keep things fair. Geez.

    • If a police officer cannot disarm a woman with a bat via hand-to-hand tactics, is unwilling to risk being hit while gaining control of the woman’s arms, that officer is not a “manly man” (generic term, ladies, chill), and should not be on the force.

      Officers always carry a nightstick that can be used to parry an attempted blow, and then be used to subdue the perp. Another non-lethal tactic would be to charge the perp, then retreat just before coming within striking range of the bat. Repeat until the perp no longer has strength to lift the bat; confiscate same. Or, even, declare a 10-20 at the scene, ask for backup, then stand around and wait for the perp to just get bored, or drop from lack of drugs, sleep or simple energy. Doing so will prevent the danger to cops who otherwise would be at risk of encountering dangerous perps.

  22. Once again the U.S. proves their police departments are no better than 3rd world Countries who shoot people as a matter of standard operation procedure. Any well trained Cop from an advanced civilized country of Western Europe say like Germany where the Cops get 3 years of intensive training (not the usual U.S. 4 weeks and hand em a gun and tell them to start blasting) would have been able to disarm an old woman with a baseball bat in less time than it takes a cat to jump off of a hot tin roof. But training costs money and in the U.S. people are considered expendable by stingy cheap ass Republicans that have even blocked the spending of money on railroad high tech safety systems that slow down trains before the plow through rail road stations bringing down the entire building and killing innocent people or allowing speeding trains to fly around curves and fly off the tracks. Safety systems installed in civilized advanced Countries like Europe have proven they work and advanced Socialistic Counties put the well being of people first and money last. Something still unheard of in the out house culture of the U.S. of Hey. Jethro are you listening because I know you cannot read this.

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