Judge Won’t Release 911 Calls In DJ Henry Police Shooting
BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A judge has refused to release 911 calls and other evidence to the parents of a college football player from Easton who was shot and killed by New York police, saying they failed to include any firsthand account of what happened.
Danroy and Angella Henry had requested access to any audio and video recordings relevant to the death of their son, Danroy Henry Jr.
“We’ll deal with it and we’ll keep fighting for truth,” Danroy Henry Sr. said in a Twitter message.
Danroy Henry Jr. was killed in his car on Oct. 17 during a disturbance outside a bar in Thornwood, N.Y. Police said the 20-year-old sped away and hit two officers. Some witnesses dispute that account.
Prosecutors had argued that evidence must be kept secret until it is laid out before a grand jury. The parents’ lawyer, Michael Sussman, said recordings would help them learn what happened.
In Boston Friday, family members joined a local activist to step up calls for the case to be turned over to the U.S. Justice Department.
Sadiki Kambon of the Black Community Information Center alleges a cover-up by police and collusion with the Westchester County D.A.
“The basic contention is that Danroy Henry Jr. was a victim of police murder and…we cannot count on the authorities in New York to give the family of Danroy justice.”
Several Henry family members were there, though not the parents.
An aunt called on President Obama to look into why so many victims of police deadly force are people of color.
In his decision, dated Tuesday but made public Friday, state Supreme Court Justice Orazio Bellantoni did not specifically address grand jury secrecy. He said any request for early release of evidence must be supported by an affidavit from “someone with firsthand knowledge of the facts.” He said Sussman’s argument was instead based on “facts either told to or read by him.”
News organizations have also been denied access to the evidence, on the grounds that the investigation is continuing.
The Henrys went to White Plains, N.Y. on Monday for a hearing on the motion, but did not speak in court. Angella Henry wore large buttons bearing photos of their son.
The Henrys and their lawyer met afterward with District Attorney Janet DiFiore, who is coordinating the investigation.
Sussman said the meeting was cordial but did not change their view that a federal investigation is warranted because the police forces involved in the shooting – Mount Pleasant’s and Pleasantville’s – work closely with DiFiore.
He also is seeking a determination of whether racial bias or stereotyping played a role. The officers who fired at Henry’s car are white; Henry was black.
The U.S. attorney’s office said Oct. 26 that it was monitoring the case and would undertake an independent review “if appropriate.”
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