Ithaca, N.Y. — Tompkins County lawmakers will seek an outside review of a controversial standoff in Danby that left a man dead and a home destroyed.

David Cady died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an approximately 60-hour stand-off last New Year’s Eve that drew hundreds of law enforcement officers to the area.

The outside review could “provide an outside perspective on factors including appropriateness and proportionality of the response and which would focus not only on the incident itself, but also at the context of actions related to Mr. Cady that led up to the standoff,” stated a news release from the county about Monday’s meeting of the county’s Public Safety Committee.

“It was stressed that the action should not imply improper action by law enforcement, but focus on lessons to be learned to provide guidance in the future.”

Nate Shinagawa, chair of the county’s public safety committee, told WHCU radio that the outside review may be conducted by someone in academia.

“I believe that we need to have somebody that has an understanding of police protocol, but at the same time, is independent enough to really give this a thorough review that the community will find appropriate,” Shinagawa told the radio station.

See related: Sheriff says Danby man’s ‘fatal funnel’ justified 61-hour response to stand-off

See related: ‘I think the police did what they were supposed to,’ cop expert says of Danby standoff

4 other things we noticed from the news release about Monday’s meeting:

1 — Lawmaker’s praise for sheriff

Shinagawa credited the Sheriff and Undersheriff with providing an “excellent and thorough analysis” in the report. Sheriff Ken Lansing had provided a report about the standoff.

2 — DOJ involvement?

Lawmakers suggested there could be technical assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance for the outside review.

3 — Dissenting vote from outside analysis

“Committee member Jim Dennis dissented in the vote to pursue an outside review, expressing the belief that such further review is not needed and, in the case of seeking an outside expert, could involve unnecessary cost.”

4 — Formal acceptance of report

“Through today’s formal acceptance, the committee acknowledged receipt of the report and that the Sheriff’s Office had provided the summary it had requested.”

5 — Sheriff welcomes review

Sheriff Lansing said he would welcome any independent and outside review of the standoff, according to the county.

The home in the aftermath of the standoff

Full Ithaca Voice coverage of Danby stand-off


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.