The Political Circus Continues

April 25, 2018 - 21 minutes read

SERGEANTS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION

POLICE DEPARTMENT, CITY OF NEW YORK

35 WORTH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10013

(212) 226-2180 | FAX (212) 431-4280

Dear Fellow Sergeant,

On October 18, 2016, Sergeant Hugh Barry of the 43 Precinct responded to a violent emotionally disturbed person (EDP) named Deborah Danner who attempted to swing a full-sized baseball bat at his head. Prior to firing his weapon, Sgt. Barry gave several commands for Ms. Danner to put down the scissors she was holding. Ms. Danner soon complied with Sgt. Barry’s commands and put down the scissors. As Sgt. Barry attempted to take her into custody, Ms. Danner suddenly grabbed a concealed baseball bat and attempted to swing it at his head. In an effort to protect his own life, Sgt. Barry fired his weapon in self-defense and Ms. Danner died from her wounds.

After being politically indicted by New York City’s failed leaders, Commissioner James O’Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office charged Sgt. Barry with four counts of homicide. Interestingly, the DA’s indictment and prosecution at trial relied solely on the Patrol Guide as justification that Sgt. Barry did not follow NYPD guidelines, therefore killing Ms. Danner as a result of not following other options.

Do you think the words “We Failed,” so callously spoken by Commissioner O’Neill so soon after the incident, might have made them follow that strategy? Needless to say, they had no case, presented no evidence, and in fact called NYPD training experts who actually agreed with the defense as to training and what the reality is when handling EDPs. On February 15, 2018, Supreme Court Judge Robert Neary agreed and rendered an acquittal on ALL COUNTS – Sgt. Barry was NOT GUILTY!

THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Nearly 3 hours after being found Not Guilty, NYPD Commissioner O’Neill, who is often described as a Cop’s Cop, sent the following email to all members of the NYPD.


Police Commissioner O’Neill
Today 2:24 PM
To the Men and Women of the New York City Police Department:

Today’s court decision in the Bronx determined that Sgt. Hugh Barry had no criminal culpability. It does not, however, make the loss of Deborah Danner’s life any less tragic. We are committed to protecting lives – it’s one of our core values. Our mission is to fight crime and keep everyone safe – the public and ourselves. Every day, police officers respond to very difficult situations. It’s not an easy job. But we, as a department and as individuals must be accountable for our actions.

The NYPD has a responsibility to train and equip our officers to handle the many challenges you face, and to ensure our response to calls for service are measured and appropriate. The NYPD’s disciplinary review of the tactical and supervisory decisions leading to the discharge of a firearm in this case will now proceed.

Thank you for the hard work you do every day, and stay safe.

Sincerely

James P. O’Neill
Police Commissioner


SEND IN THE CLOWNS:

On March 26, 2018, the political circus of double standards in the NYPD continued. The Use of Force Review Board met at 1300 hours, and on the agenda was the Disposition/Recommendation and Findings of the shooting involving Sgt. Hugh Barry in the 43 Precinct on October 18, 2016.
Some of the Board members present were First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, Deputy Commissioner John Byrne, Chief Shortell, Chief Morris, Chief Portillo, Inspector Deblasi, Inspector Maloney (CO FID), and, walking in late, last but not least, Chief of Department Terrence Monahan.
Chief Portillo began the theatrics by highlighting the intent of the Review Board, its purpose, and agenda. He informed everyone they were going over Tactics and Policy and it was at this time Chief Morris stated, “I know I’m pretty new and have only attended one board previously, but don’t we review whether the shots fired were justified or are we broadening our scope now?”
Chief Portillo then stated, “The Board has always had the ability to go over this”

(Some of the people in the room looked quite surprised and that was followed up later in the week with private conversations between myself and one member of the Board who described this as political.)

Inspector Maloney then gave a synopsis of FID Case 34-2016 zone 1 – the case involving Sgt. Barry. After going over many of the facts presented in the trial, they concluded that in accordance with the Department Guidelines the Firearms discharge was good.

(Nearly 18 months later the Review Board makes a determination that the firearms discharge was good; yet on the night of October 18, 2016, with numerous detectives, supervisors and all sorts of data available from NYPD history and residents at 630 Pugsley Avenue, the only determination that could be made was “We Failed,” as stated by Commissioner O’Neill. This was soon followed by a criminal indictment.)

BACK TO THE RING MASTER:

One member of the Review Board then claimed Sgt. Barry was negligent regarding Patrol Guide Sections: 221-13, 221-14, and 221-02. It is then that a very animated and excited Chief Monahan celebrated the sonic overtones of tintinnabulation of years past and added to an already pathetic circus – “Don’t forget failure to supervise!”

It was clear to everyone in the room this charge was not part of the Review Boards findings, nor was it mentioned at any time by anyone other than Chief Monahan. Chief Monahan’s justification for his wisdom is as follows:

There were definitely tactics Sgt. Barry did not use.

He did not isolate and contain Deborah Danner.
No Zone of Safety.
Did not control the scene
Did not talk to his cops and designate a shooter.
Did not notify ESU.
Did not wait for the duty captain.

Chief Monahan referred to the FDNY and EMS workers’ accounts of the shooting, although courtroom testimony by FDNY EMS personnel stated they never went into the apartment nor did they see the shooting.

Chief Monahan had no more knowledge than what could be read in the newspapers. He definitely did not review any testimony or any real facts from the trial. He repeated numerous times during the Review Board meeting that “Failure to Supervise” must be added to the charges.

Monahan stated that Sgt. Barry failed to deploy protective devices and didn’t wait for Emergency Service Units. He said that it was Sgt. Barry’s bad judgment on a tactical situation that clearly led to Ms. Danner’s death. Once in the bedroom he was unable to get out because he did not give his cops direction leaving him no room to back out. He further stated Ms. Danner was isolated and contained and it was the police that un-isolated her.

It is incredible how Sgt. Barry’s unblemished career could be so besmirched in one fell swoop.

As I stated on October 18, 2016, Chief Monahan’s balls shrunk. I’ll have to admit, I was wrong about that, he never had any. First and foremost, I have to believe he has lost touch with the men and women on patrol and ultimately has no clue what transpires on EDP jobs.

FACT- Last year the NYPD received 197,000 EDP calls – according to their numbers 1 every 11 minutes. Of those calls, about 1,700 were handled by ESU. One of the NYPD’s dirty little secrets is ESU is notified on every EDP call, however the practice is for sector cars to handle the call unless a judgement is made by someone present at the scene to ensure ESU is responding.

Chief – If Ms. Danner was isolated inside her bedroom with the door closed, who wants to take responsibility for her if she jumped out a window or slit her throat? Additionally, if a zone of safety was established according to the Patrol Guide, all the officers on the scene would have been in the elevator. As for Sgt. Barry not talking to his cops, controlling the scene and not notifying the duty captain, Chief Monahan is completely out of his mind and clearly never read any of the transcripts from the trial.

One has to wonder what makes powerful positions weaken the judgement of those charged with leading? Is it the thirst for favor or perhaps just incompetence that paved the way for yes men to rise for the sake of self-promotion?

ARE WE BEING TOLD TO STAND DOWN?

Commissioner Tucker, who was also present, added that “We had time on this.” We didn’t use that to our advantage and it’s the one thing we need to do “SLOW it DOWN time was essential; he could have used his Taser or with time could have talked her out.”

Really Commissioner – where was your input on the daily common practice of handling EDPs? Where is your demand for ESU to respond to every EDP and ensure the duty captain is present? You have numerous years in this department, and to date have never said a word about anything. You offer no solutions, no changes in policy, no implementation of additional training, nor have you handled an EDP assignment in many years.

Instead you bask in the luxury of title, bearing no responsibility other than to critique when politically expedient. The men and women patrolling the streets of this city make spur of the moment decisions to which you get to sit at a table and sing the song of followers.

For the record, when someone is attempting to swing a baseball bat at your head, you follow your training. The fact is the NYPD trains its officers to use deadly force when baseball bats are being used! Perhaps, we can receive a written policy from Deputy Commissioner Tucker’s office defining Slow It Down and We Had Time? Is he now telling the men and women of the NYPD to Stand Down?

ONE VOICE OF COMMON SENSE:

Deputy Commissioner John Byrne, who was present, actually seemed like the one level headed person sitting at that table who was willing to speak honestly. He stated he believed the Police Commissioner’s statement of “We Failed” really did not mean Sgt. Barry failed but the NYPD management and department training was not adequate. He further stated the department should be looking to enhance its response to these types of jobs.

THE ENCORE:

As in many great shows, concerts and venues of entertainment spectators usually call for an encore. Needless to say, so do people who make the wrong decision and strive to be prove it right. As if it weren’t enough to indict Sgt. Barry because stating the truth may become tumultuous to the political flavor of this city.
Failed leadership has chosen to attempt to prove they had a point, they were right and they dare be proven wrong by the little people on patrol. On April 17, 2018, one day before the expiration of the 18 month service deadline, Police Commissioner James O’Neill followed through on his email dated February 15, 2018, and filed additional departmental charges against Sgt. Barry. It is embarrassing and sad to think this whole incident has laid the foundation to what one day may be a best-selling book called “Two Faces of Leadership – Just Follow the Boss.” The following charges were amended to include:

Specification No 1 is DISMISSED
P.G. 203-10 page # 1, para # 5 Public Contact- Prohibited Conduct General Regulations
N.Y.S Penal Law Section 125.25 (1)
“Murder in the second degree”

Specification No 2 is DISMISSED
P.G. 203-10 page # 1, para # 5 Public Contact Prohibited Conduct General Regulations
N.Y.S Penal Law Section 125.20 (1)
“Manslaughter in the first degree”

Specification No 3 is DISMISSED
P.G. 203-10 page # 1, para # 5 Public Contact Prohibited Conduct General Regulations
N.Y.S Penal Law Section 125.15 (1)
“Manslaughter in the second degree”

Specification No 4 is DISMISSED
P.G. 203-10 page # 1, para # 5 Public Contact Prohibited Conduct General Regulations
N.Y.S Penal Law Section 125.10
“Criminally negligent homicide”

AND HERE IT BEGINS:

Specification No 5 is added as follows:

Said Sergeant Hugh Barry, while assigned as the 43rd Precinct Patrol Supervisor, on or about October 18, 2016, at about 1806 hours, inside Pugsley Avenue, Bronx County, exercised poor tactical judgement leading to the discharge of his firearm and did discharge his firearm towards Deborah Danner, resulting in the death of Deborah Danner.

P.G. # 221-01, pages #1, #2, & #3
Force Guidelines Tactical Operations

P.G. # 221-02, pages #1 & #2
Use of Force
Tactical Operations

P.G. # 221-13, pages #1, #2, & #3
Mentally Ill or Emotionally Disturbed Persons

P.G. # 221-14, pages #2, #3 & #4
Tactical Operations Hostage Barricaded Person(s) Tactical Operations

Said Sergeant Hugh Barry, while assigned as the 43rd Precinct Patrol Supervisor, on or about October 18, 2016, at about 1806 hours, inside Pugsley Avenue, Bronx County, wrongfully failed to perform his duties as a Patrol Supervisor and to supervise properly subordinate members of the Service present at the scene of an incident reportedly involving an emotionally disturbed person.

Specification No 6 is added as follows:

P.G. # 202-17, pages #1 and #2
Duties and Responsibilities Patrol Supervisor

Make no mistake, none of the wizards on the Review Board read the real sum and substance of this case nor did they read the transcripts. Fact is, they made the decision to bring administrative charges against Sgt. Barry without ever obtaining the Criminal Court transcripts. No doubt politics is prevailing in the club of “Double Standards” and it’s amazing to think that some of these people promoted to high positions claim to have done the same job as myself and every other member of this department.

If Sgt. Barry is found guilty of any of these phony political charges, then each of these Board Members convicts themselves for dereliction of duty, failure to do a proper investigation, failure to lead the men and women of the NYPD, and failure for turning a blind eye on long standing common practices followed daily in the NYPD.

It is now obvious as to who carries the piss bucket for the upper echelon of the NYPD. As we go forward we will discuss the Charge of Failure to Supervise and how it relates to the Double Standard that is practiced by those in power in the NYPD. We will discuss transparency, what takes place inside the NYPD and the demand by the people of this city and the members of City Council who all call for transparency in the NYPD. For many years, the minutia seems to flow downward; this has to stop and those in charge need to be held accountable for their own antics and failed policies.

Commissioner O’Neill no doubt could have salvaged a mistake, a claim that he bent over to for the sake of politics and fear of public backlash. A simple solution, one that required courage and leadership. Instead he chose to double down for the sake of ego on the wrong case, wrong issue and he is now watching his reputation as a “Cops Cop” sink faster that the Titanic, Lusitania and Andrea Doria combined. To all the men and women serving the people of this city, never before has it been more critical for each and every one of you to make sure Emergency Service and the Duty Captain now respond to EDP calls. It is not worth the risk to your freedom, family or well-being to do otherwise. You Do Not have the support of this department!

As always, please stay safe and feel free to contact me or any member of the SBA Board if we can help you in anyway.

Fraternally,signature-ed-mullins3Ed Mullins