Another Killer in Uniform Walks Free:
Judge Acquits NYPD Pig for Execution of Deborah Danner

February 16, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


In October 2016, Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old Black woman, was murdered in cold blood by NYPD pigs in her own apartment in the Bronx. Fourteen months later, on February 15, a New York State Supreme Court judge found the sergeant who pulled the trigger “not guilty,” agreeing with the cop’s claim that he was acting in “self-defense” when he shot Danner.

Deborah Danner was an articulate and well-educated woman who suffered from schizophrenia. On the day of her murder, she had suffered a breakdown. Her sister was trying to get her to a hospital when the pigs arrived. The NYPD knew she suffered from mental illness—they had been called to her apartment four times before. But instead of giving her the understanding and help she needed, the cops killed her with two bullets to the chest.

The killer pig argued in his trial that he and the other cops had to bust into Deborah Danner’s bedroom because she might have hurt herself with a pair of scissors she had—and then had to kill her because she supposedly posed a lethal threat to them when she picked up a baseball bat. The judge ruled that the prosecution failed to prove the cop was “not justified in the use of deadly physical force.” The head of the NYPD sergeants’ union said that “any sergeant, or officer, put in the same situation would react the same way.”

As wrote right after Deborah Danner was murdered:

What does this needless police murder of a mentally ill person say about this entire society and system? What does it say that such murders by police go on over and over and over, decade after decade after decade? And what does it say that this system justifies them time and time again?...

In the U.S. today, millions of mentally ill people have to suffer in needless ways—left untreated, thrown into the street, put behind bars. In the first six months of 2015 alone, 125 mentally ill people were killed by police. Who and what will stop this horror and humanely address the issue of mental illness? Not this capitalist system. It hasn’t, and it can’t.

Really addressing the problem of mental illness and meeting this social need would clash directly with the way this system operates—where investments are, and must, be made with the aim of making a profit. This—maximizing profit—is what drives this system, NOT meeting people’s needs. And these workings of the capitalist system dictate what the government can and can’t do, what it spends money on, and what it doesn’t. This is why, even if they wanted to, the rulers of this system can never really address the problem of mental illness. And the era of intensified global competition has required a “leaner and meaner” capitalism and the slashing of all kinds of social services—including in health care.

The role of the police is to serve and protect this sick system, not to serve and protect the people. That’s why cops brutalize and kill over and over again—and why the wanton actions of these pigs are repeatedly given the stamp of approval by representatives of the system.




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