EASTON (CBS) – The family of 20-year-old DJ Henry says they are more determined than ever to seek justice for their son and brother, now that a New York grand jury has failed to indict the police officers involved in the incident that led to his shooting death.
“We are seeking a conviction,” said his father Danroy Henry, Sr. who calls this a case of murder.
DJ Henry, a Pace University student, was shot by police as he tried to drive away in the chaos outside a New York bar in the early morning hours of October 17, 2010. Officer Aaron Hess claimed Henry was accelerating toward him and struck him when he ended up on the hood of the car and reached for his gun.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.
“For whatever reason, Aaron Hess decided to shot this boy. Why? Why? He wasn’t fleeing from a crime, he hadn’t committed a crime,” said Danroy Henry.
All along the Henry family has questioned the use of deadly force, and a police department investigating its own. The outcome, they said, was expected.
“This was an attempt to improve the optics, and make it look as if the district attorney did everything possible to prosecute the case,” he said.
The family is charging that evidence was withheld from the grand jury, which they believe would have been enough to lead to a murder indictment against office Hess.
“Could we walk around with a gun and kill someone because we feel threatened? An unarmed person? Is that ok?,” asked DJ’s mother Angella Henry.
The Westchester County district attorney said 85 witnesses were interviewed, including the officers who fired the shots.
The Henry family is now seeking a federal indictment and the US Attorney-Southern District of New York says it will review all the available evidence in the case and determine if there were any federal civil rights violations.
The family is also pursuing a $120-million civil suit against the police departments involved.