Dear Fellow Sergeant,
It is with much joy and relief that I report that Sgt. Hugh Barry was acquitted of all charges related to the death of an emotionally disturbed woman named Deborah Danner on October 18, 2016. The three-week bench trial was heard before Judge Robert A. Neary in Bronx Criminal Court.
Ms. Danner was shot while wielding a baseball bat with which Sgt. Barry believed she was going to use to attack him in her apartment. Sgt. Barry was assigned to the 43 Precinct at the time of the incident.
While I offer empathy and sympathy to the Danner family, I have nothing but outrage toward Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner James O’Neill, and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark for the malicious prosecution that was conducted for the most nefarious of reasons.
Just hours after this tragic incident occurred, Police Commissioner O’Neill stated that ‘we’ as a department failed in our quest to assist Ms. Danner. By the next day, the mayor was lambasting Sgt. Barry in the media, which all but guaranteed a politically motivated indictment. The Bronx district attorney continued to perpetuate this travesty of justice by indicting Sgt. Barry.
So many people were failed in this case. The police commissioner and the mayor knew the basic facts on the night of the incident, yet they had neither the courage nor the integrity to call this incident for what it was for fear of public unrest.
They blatantly lied to the people who they are entrusted to represent. They created a false hope for police detractors, and acted in a manner that was based solely on cowardice and a lack of personal and professional integrity. Their false narrative was put forth for no other reason than to politically enrich themselves. They owe an apology to the Danner family for misleading the facts, as well as Sgt. Barry, all of the hardworking members of the NYPD, and the people of the city of New York who were failed by their ineptitude and dishonesty.
Sgt. Barry committed no crime and was justified in his actions. I commend Judge Neary for recognizing that and acquitting Sgt. Barry of these horrendous charges.
I want to thank all of the police personnel who were in court each day to support Sgt. Barry, as well as the nationwide law enforcement community who offered their assistance in immeasurable ways during this ordeal.