Deborah Danner‘s family received a devastating blow on Thursday when the New York police sergeant who killed the 66-year-old mentally ill Black woman in October 2016 was cleared of all charges. Bronx Supreme Court Judge Robert Neary acquitted Sgt. Hugh Barry in the police brutality case that had drawn support from many activists, including the #SayHerName movement.
Barry was charged with second-degree murder, two counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide by prosecutors who decried his actions as “reckless,” the New York Daily News reported. A burden of proof was not reached due to lacking evidence from prosecutors, Neary said at Barry’s bench trial. The judge’s verdict is unsurprising, to say the least, sending the message that there is a great distance between crime and punishment when it comes to those who take Black lives.
Danner was fatally shot twice after a seconds-long standoff with Barry in the bedroom of her apartment in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx on Oct. 18, 2016. After responding to a 911 call about Danner tearing down fliers, they entered her apartment. Danner, a paranoid schizophrenic who was described as visibly “agitated,” ran to her bedroom in fear and grabbed a pair of scissors, police said. As the encounter escalated into a standoff, police failed to follow proper protocols in dealing with someone with emotional issues, assistant district attorney Wanda Perez-Maldonado argued during Wednesday’s summations.
“[As a member of the NYPD,] your goal is to protect life and for everybody to be safe,” Perez-Maldonado said. “He failed to fulfill his duties as a patrol supervisor, failed to use make use of all the resources available. He created the situation that led to her death. He failed Ms. Danner.”
Within five minutes of arriving at Danner’s home, Barry fired two deadly bullets into the senior citizen and caused her death. It was a killing that New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said was “unnecessary” almost immediately after Danner’s shooting, DNAinfo New York reported.
“She did not present a threat to other people because she was in a contained space,” DeBlasio said at the time.
Danner’s case caught the attention of many activists for spotlighting Black deaths related to mental health. And Danner’s name became a part of #SayHerName, a movement raising awareness about Black female victims of police brutality and anti-Black violence. For a cause that began in 2015 and has been championed by activists, celebrities and academics including its founder Kimberlé Crenshaw, it has not reached the level of recognition of the #MeToo movement. The #MeToo movement, initially begun by Tarana Burke, who is Black, has crossed cultural divides. However, #SayHerName, which fights to bring attention to Black women who are victims of police violence, has mainly found support among Black women.
But what if #SayHerName was supported by women of all races? What if #SayHerName connected congresswomen and Hollywood women to Black women like Danner?
The #SayHerName movement can reach more people, gain more strength —and grow—as #MeToo has since it began 10 years ago.
In Memoriam: Notable Deaths In 2018
1. Richard Overton, 112Source:Getty 1 of 39
2. Aretha Franklin, 76Source:Getty 2 of 39
3. Charles Weldon, 783 of 39
4. Nancy Wilson, 81Source:Getty 4 of 39
5. Willie Naulls, 84Source:Getty 5 of 39
6. Olivia Hooker, 103Source:Getty 6 of 39
7. Kim Porter, 47Source:Getty 7 of 39
8. Willie McCovey, 80Source:false 8 of 39
9. Ntozake Shange, 70
Source:false 9 of 39
“i found god in myself— Melissa Kimble (she/her) 🏁 (@Melissa_Kimble) October 27, 2018
and i loved her
i loved her fiercely”
May you rest in peace, Ntozake Shange. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/r3n3ueGcuS
10. George Taliaferro, 91
Source:false 10 of 39
Taliaferro, 1st black player drafted in NFL, dies https://t.co/83IKcN9RNw— NAACP (@NAACP) October 9, 2018
11. Otis Rush, 84Source:Getty 11 of 39
12. George Walker, 96Source:Getty 12 of 39
13. Kofi Annan, 80Source:WENN 13 of 39
14. Ron Dellums, 83Source:false 14 of 39
15. Angela Bowen, 82
Source:false 15 of 39
Had no idea that Angela Bowen, a black lesbian feminist dance teacher and civil rights cultural worker existed. I keep thinking of all the unnamed https://t.co/M2dbNNlgu0— DJ Scholarship (@lynneedenise) July 23, 2018
16. Joe Jackson, 89Source:Getty 16 of 39
17. XXXTentacion, 20Source:Getty 17 of 39
18. Neal Boyd, 42Source:Getty 18 of 39
19. Dorothy Cotton, 88Source:Getty 19 of 39
20. Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, 74Source:Getty 20 of 39
21. Dovey Johnson Roundtree, 104
Source:false 21 of 39
Dovey Johnson Roundtree, a courtroom warrior for civil rights who also challenged segregationist practices when she was in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, died at the age of 104. https://t.co/M4uG2vjk4e— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) May 22, 2018
22. Velvalea Rodgers 'Vel' Phillips, 94
Source:false 22 of 39
:: BREAKING NOW: Milwaukee attorney and civil rights icon Vel Phillips has died, according to her family. She was 94. pic.twitter.com/3yhLdhLtMQ— Steve Chamraz (@TMJ4Steve) April 18, 2018
23. Doris Ward, 86Source:Getty 23 of 39
24. Yvonne Staples, 80Source:Getty 24 of 39
25. Cecil Taylor, 89Source:Getty 25 of 39
26. Donald McKayle, 87Source:Getty 26 of 39
27. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 81Source:Getty 27 of 39
28. Linda Brown, 76Source:Getty 28 of 39
29. Les Payne, 76Source:false 29 of 39
30. Floyd J. Carter, Sr., 95Source:Getty 30 of 39
31. Ensa Cosby, 44Source:false 31 of 39
32. Lerone Bennett Jr., 89Source:Getty 32 of 39
33. Reg E. CatheySource:Getty 33 of 39
34. Lovebug Starski, 57Source:Getty 34 of 39
35. Olivia Cole, 75Source:Getty 35 of 39
36. Wyatt Tee Walker, 88Source:Getty 36 of 39
37. Jesse 'Smiley' RutlandSource:WENN 37 of 39
38. Hugh Masekela, 78Source:Getty 38 of 39
39. Edwin Hawkins, 74Source:Getty 39 of 39
Cop Who Killed Deborah Danner Acquitted: #SayHerName Must Get The #MeToo Treatment was originally published on newsone.com