On May 31, after nearly a two-month grand jury investigation, Sgt. Hugh Barry of the New York City police department was finally charged with the murder of 66-year-old Deborah Danner.
“Any chronic illness is a curse. Schizophrenia is no different – its only ‘saving grace,’ if you will, is that as far as I know it’s not a fatal disease,”
“We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come up against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead.”
These are excerpts from Deborah’s essay written in 2012, describing her mental illness and interaction with law enforcement. On October 18, 2016, Danner was killed inside of her Bronx apartment by Sergeant Barry.
The investigation revealed that Sgt. Barry did not go through the proper and humane protocol avail before using deadly physical force. Currently, the officer is suspended without pay and could face a life sentence in prison if convicted of his charges.