As a pair of officials blamed politics for the murder indictment leveled against a police sergeant, a law enforcement source insisted that a Bronx grand jury made the right call in the shooting death of Deborah Danner.
The panel — after hearing all the evidence and testimony from Sgt. Hugh Barry — charged the eight-year police veteran with second-degree intentional murder in the death of the schizophrenic 66-year-old.
“He had all these other options available,” the law enforcement source said Thursday. “There were other officers there, too. Nobody else drew their guns.”
Three other cops were also inside the Bronx residence when Danner was shot in the chest and killed last Oct. 18.
A high-ranking police source expressed shock at the Wednesday indictment that also charged Barry, 31, with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
“It seems like a politically motivated charge to even put that before the grand jury,” the police source told the Daily News. “It’s very shocking to everyone in the executive ranks and the rank and file that such a high crime is levied against an officer in the act of doing his duty.”The law enforcement source said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark knew going into the case that it was a no-win situation.
“No matter what they did, people would be screaming about it,” the source told The News. “If they didn’t charge murder, they would be screaming. And now that they did charge murder, people are screaming.”
Barry had testified before the grand jury last week about what happened in the minutes before he pulled the trigger for the first time as a working cop.
A source familiar with the testimony said the sergeant “came off as sincere” — although the prosecutor asked him leading questions during his time on the stand.Barry, however, never took out his stun gun during the encounter in a bedroom in Danner’s apartment.
Instead, Barry opened fire — ignoring NYPD guidelines instructing cops to wait for the arrival of Emergency Service Unit officers, prosecutors said.
Barry became the first NYPD cop charged with murder in an on-duty shooting since four officers fired 41 shots at unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo in 1999.
*Originally published on NY Daily News.