Justice Department To Review D.J. Henry’s Death

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The Department of Justice will review the evidence in the death of D.J. Henry to determine whether there were any civil rights crimes.

The announcement came late Monday night, hours after a grand jury in Westchester County, New York did not indict any police officers in the shooting.

Henry, a Pace University student from Easton, was killed Oct. 17 when officers fired at his car as he drove away from a bar in Thornwood, just north of New York City.

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said jurors found “no reasonable cause for an indictment.”

Henry family attorney Michael Sussman told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Tuesday that the Justice Department involvement is significant.

“We need additional eyes here. We need people without institutional connections. We need people who will bring accountability and integrity to the process.”

Sussman talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens

Sussman hopes federal investigators will come up with criminal charges, at least against the officer who shot Henry.

Henry’s parents speak to WBZ-TV

“If they (the Justice Department) look at what we’ve looked at, they most certainly would, in our view, return an indictment here,” Henry’s father Dan told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Dan Henry talks to WBZ’s Carl Stevens

Aaron Hess, the police officer Henry hit with his car, said Tuesday that he is grateful the grand jury did not charge him or his fellow officers.

His attorney released a statement, saying “sometimes the truth is painful… and in this case the painful truth is…. that DJ Henry brought about his own death…”

“Aaron Hess did not take any joy or satisfaction in taking the life of DJ Henry… but responded to DJ Henry’s actions in the only way he could to save his life…. and the lives of those in the parking lot that morning.”

The Henry family is planning to go ahead with a $120 million lawsuit against the Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant police departments.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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