The New York City police sergeant Hugh Barry killed a mentally ill woman in October 2017. The action of High Barry to shoot a woman at her Bronx apartment is unethical behavior. The involvement of Barry in the brutal killing of the woman reflects the horrific side of the New York police. The sergeant was arrested for his killing, and the case involved six-month investigation. Deborah Danner was a 66 years old woman who faced the violent killing of the sergeant. The mental health of Deborah reveals she has a history of mental illness that makes her less active than other women. Barry served the police for eight years, and his involvement in innocent woman’s murder resulted in a charge of second- degree murder. The other charges faced by Barry include first and send- degree manslaughter. The act of sergeant makes him a negligent homicide who kills an old lady for no reason (Baker, 2017).
Sergeant responded to the 911 call and went break in the apartment of Deborah who displayed an erratic behavior in her apartment near Castle Hill neighborhood. He claimed that Ms. Deborah tried to hit him with bat and he shoots her in his defense. The response of city’s mayor Bill de Blasio and commissioner James P. O’Neill are against Sergeant as they state the officer did not use police protocol and did not follow code to deal with mentally ill people. Barry also did not wait for the special unit to arrive and acted immediately that makes him more guilty. Barry did not subdue Ms. Deborah by using stun gun that could have saved him from killing the woman.
The record of Sergeant Barry reveals he was involved in brutal behaviors. He faced suits in 2012 and 2014 due to his violent behavior and use of force. Barry fired twice at Ms. Deborah while he could have fired in the air to frighten her. The mental history of Deborah indicates she had schizophrenia and often lost control over herself. Barry ignored her mental condition and reacted violently. The history of Ms. Deborah depicts that she has never been involved in violent behaviors or exhibited aggression. The neighbors did not report Deborah’s involvement in violent behaviors. The mental illness of Deborah resulted in her uncontrolled behaviors and eccentricity, but before Barry’s shooting, she did not attack him. The arrival of police frightened her, and she sat on her bed with scissors in her hands, but she did not harm Barry (Baker, 2017).
The assessment of the Deborah Danner murder portrays Sergeant Barry as an unethical police officer. The first unethical conduct is shooting the woman twice as it displays the darker side of Barry. Barry used his power to kill the woman and did not try to warn her before killing. The second unethical conduct is ignoring her mental instability. The profile of Barry reveals his involvement in violent and brutal attitudes that confirms his aggression and anger. The law does not allow the officers to use force on the civilians. His attitude of firing twice on
Deborah reflects an abuse of power. The investigation reveals that Barry did not pull his taser and only used gun. He did not even warn the lady that makes him more accountable for his actions. The overall assessment of the case reflects sergeant Barry did not follow the code of ethics and used violence over a mentally ill woman. The behavior of Barry is unethical because he deviated from professionalism and morality. He was supposed to protect the civilians, but he used excessive force that caused the death of an old woman (McKinley, 2017).
His act of killing a woman displays the manslaughter that makes him unethical. Another claim made by the supporters of Ms. Deborah states that Barry was able to use force because Deborah was a black woman. His decision to fire instantly on a black woman makes him unethical. The fact that Deborah was African- American gave more confidence to Barry, and he acted instantly that resulted in a black woman’s murder. The behavior of Barry is also unethical because the police department and the criminal justice system defines a different treatment with the mentally unstable people. The law restricts the use of force over mentally- ill.
The actions of Sergeant Barry is a clear depiction of violation of the code of conduct and the principles of law. If he acted according to the law, he would have used taser and waited for the special unit to arrive. He responded negatively and in anticipation of her actions he killed her instantly. The unethical side of Barry reflects from his inability to assess the mental status of the woman and use some alternative method. If Barry was afraid, he could have fired once that he fired twice that wounded the woman and resulted in her death.
The violation of law and code makes him unethical and wrong. Sergeant Barry had acquired training from the police department about dealing with the mentally disturbed people, but he did not apply the rules. Immediate shooting is not acceptable in the US justice system. Barry ignored the other possible ways of handling the situation and picked the most brutal one that reflects his unethical side. Barry neglected that he frightened the woman and he did not use any method to calm her as learned in his training. The training guides the police to handle the situation intelligently. The mentally disturbed people can act in any manner, but the police must be able to deal with the situation wisely (McKinley, 2017).
Law and order do not allow the police to under force over the mentally unstable people. Barry had been involved in the police for last eight years, but he still ignored the code of conduct and did not display the appropriate behavior during the investigation. The Human Protection Rights published the guidelines for investigating mentally ill people. Use of force is strictly prohibited. The case of Deborah reveals she was not able to make rational decisions, but Barry was in his conscious state and able to act rationally. However, he neglected the consequences of his actions or the state of Deborah that makes him unethical.
Baker, A., (2017, August). New York City Police Sergeant Charged With Murder in Bronx Woman’s Death. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/nyregion/new-york-city-police-deborah-danner-hugh-barry-bronx-womans-shooting-death.html
McKinley, J. C., (2017, August). Officer’s Indictment Makes Good on Prosecutor’s Plea for Patience. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/nyregion/bronx-police-shooting-mental-illness.html