Today, New York Police Department (NYPD) Sgt. Hugh Barry was arrested and charged with murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide for fatally shooting Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old woman who suffered from mental illness, in October 2016.  Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:

“We welcome the grand jury’s conclusion that the evidence overwhelmingly supports charging Sgt. Barry with murder in the shooting death of Deborah Danner.  Although we are gratified by the indictment, we know that this is only the first step in a process, and we will closely monitor the prosecution of this case.  We hope that this announcement will be followed by substantive action, both in a court of law and internally by the NYPD, as opposed to the all-too-similar 1984 killing of Eleanor Bumpurs, for which no individual was ever held responsible.  Ensuring that justice is served requires more than a conviction though.  It requires system-wide changes to avoid future tragedies.”