Justice Committee Statement on the NYPD Killing of Deborah Danner and Attorney General Decision re Jurisdiction Over the Case
In response to the NYPD killing of 66-year-old Deborah Danner and the Attorney General’s statement that this case falls outside his office’s jurisdiction as Special Prosecutor, the Justice Committee issued the following statement from Co-Director Loyda Colon:
We are saddened and outraged by the NYPD’s murder of Deborah Danner, an elder who deserved respected and needed care. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family and loved ones.
We are deeply disappointed by Attorney General Schneiderman’s assertion that this case falls outside of his office’s jurisdiction as Special Prosecutor. 18 families of New Yorkers killed by the police over the last two decades fought for the Special Prosecutor executive order (EO No. 147) in order to help families like Deborah Danner’s get justice and accountability. We are puzzled by how, in less the 48 hours the AG’s office could conduct the level of investigation necessary to make this determination. They have failed to live up to the commitment they made to the families to handle these cases with the utmost care and integrity.
We have serious doubts about the Bronx District Attorney’s ability to handle this case fairly and thoroughly, given the systemic conflict of interest district attorneys have when they are called upon to prosecute police officers, who they work with everyday. On top of this, we are concerned that Bronx DA Darcel Clark – who was not elected and who, as a judge, played a role in keeping Kalief Browder in jail awaiting trial for years ultimately leading to his death – is unfit to handle this case.
While there is little information available other than the NYPD’s official story, what’s clear is that an elderly woman with a history of mental illness who should have been given aid was instead gunned down in her own home. Any assertion that Danner presented enough danger to a group of armed officers – who knew full well the situation they were walking into – to warrant lethal force is outrageous.