D.J.’s Parents Don’t Want Shooting To Become Racial Issue
BOSTON (CBS/AP) — An attorney for several of D.J. Henry’s Pace University football teammates says she’s outraged that the Westchester County D.A. is allowing the Mt. Pleasant Police to investigate their own.
Among other things, Bonita Zellman claims Henry was not given prompt medical attention as he lay dying.
Henry is the college student from Easton who was shot and killed outside a bar in Thornwood, New York last weekend.
Police have acknowledged that, on Sunday, two officers fired into the car driven by Henry in the chaos after a fight inside a bar popular with students.
Mount Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno held a press conference Friday and listed response times and details countering the allegations.
Alagno also said investigators are looking for a woman who was seen giving Henry chest compressions before officers took over.
The first report of a disturbance in the bar was at 1:19 a.m. Sunday, and the first report of a shooting was at 1:25 a.m., Alagno said. Between 1:28 and 1:30 a.m., officers noted Henry’s “grave condition,” retrieved oxygen and a defibrillator, and took over CPR from the woman. By 1:35 a.m., Henry was loaded on a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance, Alagno said.
Alagno said the Pace University student was handcuffed after the shooting but does not know how long the cuffs were on. He had said previously that Henry was uncuffed once officers saw the severity of his injury.
A preliminary autopsy confirmed “death by gunshot.” Alagno did not say which officer’s bullet caused the death or how many times Henry was hit. He said the investigation will take months.
Earlier Friday, Angela and Danroy Henry Sr. told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that they don’t want to turn their son’s death into a racial issue; they said they just want the truth.
The parents also spoke with WBZ News Radio’s Carl Stevens:
Police have said that Henry sped away and hit two white officers after a policeman knocked on his car window.
The Henry family’s attorney said witnesses reported that paramedics ignored Henry, handcuffed and dying, to attend to injured officers. A message left for the captain of the Pleasantville Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which covers Thornwood, was not immediately returned.
Robert Coulombe, a Pace senior who shot video of the chaotic scene, said Thursday that he was behind Henry’s car and did not see the shooting, but he heard the shots after he saw Henry pull away “as if he was being asked to leave the fire lane.”
He said Henry drove only about 100 feet and couldn’t have been going dangerously fast before crashing into a parked police cruiser.
A union representing one of the officers who fired on the car, Pleasantville Officer Aaron Hess, said Hess “acted in accordance with his training and as required under the circumstances,” the Journal News reported.
The other officer who fired at the car has been identified as Mount Pleasant Officer Ronald Beckley.
On Thursday, Pace quarterback Joseph Romanick, of Slidell, La., appeared in court on a charge that he broke a store window in the aftermath of the shooting. His lawyer said evidence does not appear to support the charge.
Three other teammates are due in court next month on charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction. Police said they interfered with medical care. Their lawyer claims officers kept them from helping Henry as he lay dying.
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