A police sergeant has been stripped of his gun and badge in the aftermath of what officials on Wednesday labeled a preventable tragedy: the killing of a mentally ill, 66-year-old woman in a bedroom in her New York City apartment. The victim, Deborah Danner, "should be alive right now, period," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an unusually swift and harsh rebuke of an officer involved in a fatal shooting.
"If the protocols had been followed, she would be alive," he added at a news conference. "It's as simple as that." Sgt. Hugh Barry, an eight-year veteran of the force, persuaded Danner to drop a pair of scissors she had been holding, but when she picked up the bat and tried to strike him, he fired two shots that hit her torso, police said. Barry was placed on desk duty while the state attorney general's office determines whether the case falls under its authority to investigate police shooting of unarmed civilians. Police officials were investigating why the sergeant chose not to use a stun gun he was carrying or retreat and wait for backup from specially trained emergency service officers.
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