Report: NYPD Fatally Shoots 66 Year Old Woman, Allegedly Wielding a Baseball Bat

Image: screen grab via CBS 2 News
Image: screen grab via CBS 2 News

A 66 year old woman was shot and killed in her Bronx apartment by a New York City police sergeant after allegedly charging at him with a baseball bat.

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NBC 4 New York reports that officers responded to a 911 call from her neighbors and found the woman in her apartment naked and holding a pair of scissors. After being convinced to put the scissors down, the woman “picked up a baseball bat and tried to hit him with it.”

The officer then fired two shots, striking the woman in her torso. She was transported to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx and died shortly thereafter.

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According to officials, the woman had schizophrenia and there had been past 911 reports about her in the past. CBS 2 News reports that NYPD Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen said that the officer in question had a Taser at his disposal, but for some reason it was not used during the incident.

State Senator Ruben Diaz said in a statement that there was no real reason for the shooting to have happened: “To me, it is very difficult to understand how a woman who is [66] years old and has emotional problems should have to die like this, especially if there are four or five police officers in the room with her.”

The NYPD is opening an investigation into the matter, including why the sergeant didn’t use the Taser instead of shooting a mentally-ill woman with a firearm. CBS 2 News’s Tony Aiello reports that the officer involved in the shooting is white; the woman who was killed was black.

New York City’s Public Advocate Letitia James said in a statement that she is “deeply concerned” about the shooting. Calling for a “swift and thorough investigation” into the incident, she said:

“While we are still learning details about this evening’s incident, I am renewing my call to expand the use of non-lethal use of force by the NYPD. I look forward to working with the NYPD toward common sense criminal justice measures that protect our police officers and the communities they serve.”

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This article has been updated to more accurately clarify the New York City’s Public Advocate request.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

This is what pisses me off about this. In most mental health care facilities workers are generally paid less than $12 dollars an hour to non-violently deescalate situations like this. My mom worked in a group home and got punched so hard that she had a black eye for over a month, and if she had retaliated or hurt the resident in any way that wasn’t restraining them she would have been fired and possibly had charges pressed against her.

If someone with very little training (and mental health workers on the bottom rungs are not given adequate training) who is getting paid jack shit has these expectations on them then why the hell don’t the police?