On October 18, 2016, NYPD shot Deborah Danner, an elderly woman with mental disability, in her Bronx apartment. Police confronted the woman, who suffered from schizophrenia, and described her as “acting in an irrational manner”. After Danner wielded a baseball bat, Sergeant Hugh Barry fired two fatal shots into her torso.
Public Advocate Letitia James and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called the shooting “unacceptable”. Likewise, officials allege that because the woman was a known schizophrenic, officers should have been prepared to calm the situation verbally or use non-lethal force, if absolutely necessary. Ultimately, Hugh Barry was charged and acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges. However, this case is groundbreaking as it is the first since 1999 to try an on-duty police officer for murder.
What is Police Brutality?
Law enforcement officers must maintain an individual’s personal civil rights while using minimal verbal and physical force to confront issues. Police brutality can occur if an officer fails to do this. Claims of police brutality typically focus on:
- Excessive force
- False arrest
- Wrongful shooting
- Mental and emotional abuse
Has Police Brutality Affected you?
Despite increases in civil rights awareness, police brutality cases continue to occur throughout the Unites States, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, and the surrounding areas. Often, these cases stem from claims of intentional misconduct or from plain negligence. While victims may report claims to their police department’s civil complaints bureau, it is impossible to receive compensation for police misconduct without making a formal legal claim in our Courts. Police brutality lawsuits can result in both compensation for a victim as well as an important check on our system of policing.
What you can do:
Involve yourself with your community. Generally, community involvement develops additional routes for advocacy if police brutality affects those in your area. Additionally, a thriving community structure aides in developing a positive relationship between the community and police.
If you feel you may be a victim of police brutality, it is imperative that you call (800) 762-9300 or email to discuss the civil rights claim with an experienced police misconduct attorney immediately.
About the Author: Collin Porcaro is a Legal Contributor for www.lawyers24-7.com.