Intentional But Lawful

The Story

In a tragic turn of events last year, a NYPD officer shot and killed a mentally ill woman who was attacking him with first scissors, and then a baseball bat. Now Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark has indicted the officer for murder. Aside from the fact that the shooting, though horrifying, was probably lawful, the killing of Deborah Danner by Sergeant Hugh Barry highlights the widespread problem of the untreated seriously mentally ill. The city must find a way to deal with its most unstable residents that doesn’t rely on police intervention as a last resort.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Safe: Deborah Danner would likely have qualified for a Kendra’s Law assessment that would have mandated treatment and kept her compliant with a treatment regimen. Read more.

  2. Force: The law and judicial precedent have established that police officers have the right to use deadly force if they believe their lives are in danger. Read more.

  3. Waste: Mayor de Blasio’s ThriveNYC mental health initiative focuses on treatment for depression, anxiety, and other comparatively minor ailments rather than on serious mental illness. Read more.

“Prioritizing prevention over treatment may sound savvy, but it is, in fact, an old idea that has never shown much promise, particularly with regard to the most severe thought and mood disorders.”

Stephen Eide, senior fellow at Manhattan Institute

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Have We Crossed the Line? By Heather Mac Donald (Winter 1993)

“‘I’m going to kill you,’ Larry Hogue muttered to Lisa Lehr as she got out of her car on the night of January 5, 1992.”

And in other news...

“After a 58-year-old man fell onto subway tracks Saturday night in Manhattan, a ballet dancer, who had just watched his wife perform with American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House, leapt down after him.”