NYPD to force resignation of sergeant who fatally shot Deborah Danner in Bronx bat incident

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An NYPD sergeant who shot and killed a mentally-ill woman holding a baseball bat in her Bronx apartment in 2016 will be forced to resign instead of being fired, the Daily News has learned.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado had recommended that Sgt. Hugh Barry be terminated, but Commissioner Edward Caban modified that decision and will force Barry to resign, according to a high-ranking police official with knowledge of the decision.

The NYPD commissioner has the final say in discipline for cases involving misconduct by members of the police department.

Barry was officially suspended without pay for 30 days starting Friday. When he returns from that suspension, he will be automatically “separated from the NYPD”, according to the official.

Barry, who joined the police department in 2008, will lose healthcare and other benefits granted to officers who complete 20 years with the NYPD. He will still be eligible for a pension in five years.

Barry shot and killed Deborah Danner, 66, nearly seven years ago after a 911 call brought him and another officer to her Bronx building in Castle Hill after reports that she was acting erratically.

Barry was charged with murder but was acquitted by a Bronx judge in 2018.

“I just see the bat swinging and that’s when I fired,” Barry testified at the time.

For Jennifer Danner, 73, Deborah’s sister, news of Caban’s decision brought a measure of relief. The city settled a lawsuit with Danner’s family for $2 million.

“That is so great. I feel great about it, that something has finally been done. I thought maybe he’d be back out on the street,” Danner said.

She heard the shots that killed her sister echo down their Bronx hallway in 2016.

“I’m just glad to have him off the force,” she said.

Danner said she was relieved that the city has been experimenting with sending social workers in first to certain calls for people in emotional distress.

“At least some good came out of it.”

The trial decision had not yet been published on the NYPD website Friday evening. The news comes less than a week after The News reported on the frequent delays in trial decisions for NYPD officers involved in killings on the job.