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NYPD Commissioner: Fatal Bronx Shooting Of Woman 'Agency Failure'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The NYPD commissioner is continuing to insist the police "failed" following the fatal Bronx shooting of an emotionally-disturbed woman, as more voices join the chorus charging there was a rush to judgment.

CBS2's Marcia Kramer reports NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill is refusing to back down in his assessment of what cost the life of 66-year-old Deborah Danner earlier this week.

O'Neill said right after the shooting happened the NYPD "failed" and that proper procedures weren't followed as he's sticking to his guns.

"As I said before, we were called to that apartment to help someone. We ended up killing her. To me, that's an agency failure and every police officer knows when they use deadly physical force, they're accountable for that," said O'Neill.

The commissioner's words have drawn a strong response from the Sergeants Benevolent Association. 

"I'm not surprised. He is a newly appointed commissioner. He's working for a mayor who has an anti-police perspective of the world," said union president Ed Mullins. "What I am surprised is how quickly the mayor neutered this commissioner. In less than a month, everything has changed from this cop's cop that he was known as to now being the neutered little puppy of the mayor."

An unusual ally emerged in this tub of war. Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, who normally finds himself filing suits against cops or seeking police reforms, is taking issue with the decision to immediately pull Sgt. Hugh Barry's gun and badge.

"You can't hang someone and then have a trial," said Siegel. "Cops have civil rights, too."

Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about it Friday on his radio show.

"The public had a right to know. This shouldn't have happened and this was the right thing to do," said de Blasio.

O'Neill again raised questions about why Barry didn't use his Taser to stop Danner. He said the NYPD now has over 1,700 Tasers – 12 for each precinct.

The Bronx district attorney is investigating the case and the City Department of Investigations is reviewing the protocols used by the NYPD leading up to the fatal shooting.

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