An infuriated police union head blasted NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill as more concerned with his career than protecting his cops.
The Saturday outrage from Sergeants Benevolent Association leader Ed Mullins came after O’Neill declared a police sergeant bungled a call that left a schizophrenic Bronx woman dead.
“Even high-ranking members of this department ... are baffled by the actions of our neutered commissioner,” read Mullins’ rant to his union members.
“Commissioner O’Neill’s actions can only be explained as having a lack of courage to stand up against a failing mayor.”
De Blasio defends rapid City Hall outrage on fatal Bronx shooting
Mayor de Blasio and O’Neill both said Sgt. Hugh Barry — who had never previously fired his weapon on duty — failed to follow department protocols when he grabbed his gun instead of a Taser.
Danner was holding a baseball bat inside the small Bronx apartment on Tuesday night when Barry shot her twice.
“The men and women of the NYPD are being used as political pawns by anointed ‘leaders’ who care only about themselves and their careers,” Mullins continued. “This past week in the 43rd Precinct, Sgt. Barry became the piñata for Commissioner James O'Neill.”
The commissioner offered no response to Mullins’ barbed remarks, but a mayoral spokesman fired back.
Cop who fatally shot Bronx woman broke NYPD mental illness rules
“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," said City Hall spokesman Austin Finan.
Mullins unloaded on O’Neill on the same day the Rev. Al Sharpton called for criminal charges against Barry in the death of Deborah Danner, 66.
Sharpton, speaking at his weekly rally at the National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, charged Barry’s decision to use his gun instead of the Taser on the mentally-ill woman made the eight-year veteran culpable.
“You’ve got two options,” said Sharpton. “You’re dealing with an older woman . . . (What) qualifies as an intentional act and therefore you deal with in criminal court? Do we have laws? Are they enforced?”
Bronx woman killed by NYPD wrote essay on cops and mentally ill
The Bronx district attorney is investigating the shooting. A neighbor called 911 just after 6 p.m., saying Danner was behaving erratically. Police said she swung a baseball bat at police before Barry opened fire.
Danner was a diagnosed schizophrenic, and police confirmed they were summoned to her home on four previous occasions without any problems once they arrived.
City Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) called for the shooting probe to move ahead quickly.
“The people of the city of New York need to understand that when someone dies, someone will be held accountable,” Williams said. “We can’t wait for three years. The clock is ticking now. I want results within the year and that’s a demand, not an ask.”
New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman said there was no doubt that NYPD guidelines were ignored — and invoked the 1984 shooting of Eleanor Bumpurs under similar circumstances in her Bronx home.
“It is hard, indeed impossible to imagine, why five officers and a patrol sergeant would need to use deadly force to disarm a 66-year-old woman with a baseball bat,” Lieberman said.
Mullins, in his missive, noted that former NYCLU head Norman Siegel suggested the mayor and the commissioner went too far with their remarks.Send a Letter to the Editor