Updated: October 23, 2016, 12:15 PM
BY ERIN DURKIN, ADAM EDELMAN
|New Police Commissioner James O’Neill (r.) has already been “neutered” by Mayor de Blasio (l.), according to Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins. (JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|
Mayor de Blasio has already “neutered” new New York top cop James O’Neill, Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins said Sunday.
Mullins, as well as Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch, ripped de Blasio during a pair of appearances on “The Cats Roundtable” Sunday morning over the Mayor’s reaction to the shooting last week of 66-year-old schizophrenic Bronx woman Deborah Danner.
“There are a lot of facts in this particular incident that have not been made public yet. And for the mayor and Commissioner O’Neill to rush to judgement and not afford this officer the opportunity to due process is really off base,” Mullins said Sunday about the response to the shooting of Danner, who was killed inside her apartment Tuesday night.
“I guess (de Blasio) is concerned about his (reelection) and … O’Neill is concerned about his position,” he added. “I’m surprised at … how short a period of time it took for (O’Neill) to be neutered by the mayor.”
“They rushed to judgement without giving this sergeant the same opportunity,” Mullins said of Sgt. Hugh Barry, the officer who shot Danner.
Lynch added that he felt “this is the most difficult time to be a police officer in my 32 years on the job.”
“We’re getting second-guessed at every turn …. not getting support from City Hall,” he said, adding that the response from O’Neill was “rash” because he “so quickly … determined (Barry) was wrong, before an investigation.”
A spokesman for the Mayor defended his reaction as “straight talk.”
“New Yorkers deserve straight talk and that's what they got from Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner O'Neill, both of whom spoke honestly about a clear fact: Deborah Danner didn't have to die,” De Blasio spokesman Austin Finan told the Daily News Sunday, echoing his boss’s reaction from last week.
“The public had a right to know this shouldn’t have happened,” Mayor de Blasio said during his Friday WNYC radio appearance.
“Miss Danner should not have died,” he said. “There was opportunity to back away. There was the opportunity to wait for the Emergency Service Unit. There was the opportunity to use the Taser.”
“She did not present a threat to other people because she was in a contained space,” de Blasio said.
“We were called to help her and we ended up killing her,” he said Friday.
Danner was killed after police responded to a neighbor’s complaint about her behaving “in an irrational manner” in her Pugsley Ave. building near Seward Ave. in Castle Hill Tuesday night.
Barry was among the officers who entered the seventh-floor apartment and found Danner, who had struggled for decades with mental health issues and was a diagnosed schizophrenic, in a bedroom holding a pair of scissors and threatening cops.
|Police officers investigate the scene after an officer shot and killed a 66-year-old woman in the Bronx on Oct. 19. (JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|
Barry, an eight-year department veteran working in the 43rd Precinct, convinced her to drop the scissors, but she grabbed a wooden bat and lunged at him, before he shot her twice.
The Bronx District Attorney’s Office is investigating the shooting.
Barry has been placed on modified duty, stripped of his gun and shield, pending the outcome of the investigation.