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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

More from Carl Stevens
  • Cynic

    Up to now the local authorites have complete control over all evidence in the incident so they are able to manipulate it however they want. With a Federal investigation they will have less control, In a Civil suit everyone involved can be deposed and forced to testify under oath.This is where the TRUTH begins to emerge.

  • robert McDermott

    This family went thru an awful loss. No one should have to go thru this. However, now it appears all they care about is the money. It is too bad when people like this focus on getting a payday from a tragedy. Can you see where this would have gone if the police officer was white,

  • sparrow

    what was the need to shoot up the car? cops love to pull people over all i see is some cops trying to make something out of nothing as usual. protect and serve? yea right.

  • Metawmape

    OK, the Henry’s get what they wanted all along, a DOJ investigation. However, if the DOJ investigation does not turn up any wrong doing by the police, will they admit the guilt of their son and get on with their lives? I understand their grieve and can feel for them but it does seem that this is turning into an issue of money as well as justice. I don’t think the Henry Family is ever going to find what they’re looking for in this case. Nothing can bring back their son and no amount of money will replace him.

    • Don


      No chance the DOJ lets these police officers off the hook.

  • Two sides

    I agree it’s a tragedy, but what about hitting the officer who ended up being put in the hospital? Seems to me that’s assault with a deadly weapon (being run over by an automobile,) Seems to me the officer injured and up on the hood of the car was justified in thinkning his life was in danger, Has everyone forgotten that? Also the family appears to be in denial about the drinkig. The son’s blood alcohol was well over the legal limit and yet they keep denying their son was in any way impaired by alcohol.

    • Cynic

      Two Sides….Obviously you have bought into the Police version. The truth won’t be known until it is dragged out of them trhough the Legal Process.

  • Cynic

    The purpose of a Lawsuit is not about Money it’s about changing behavior..Unfortunately in a case of this sort the offenders have nothing to worry about because the City or Town will pick up the tab for them. There is no incentive to refrain from killing people.If the Police involved were made to pay part of any settlement they would change their behavior real fast.

    • blackbear1

      Cynic, your name fits well!! Your remarks are outrageous and biased in the manner you accuse others of. How can you automatically assume the Police are wrong? How can you automatically take the word{s} of drunken students out in a place they arguably should not have been. You are just anti police and need to control your prejudices.

      • Don


        hold your ‘unbiased’ thoughts until the DOJ investigation. As MJ says, “Hammer time.”

    • Don


      This scenario is what the DOJ will see all too clearly…not to mention leaving DJ to bleed to death.

  • massman

    Metawmape – The Henry’s get what they wanted all along? Admit guilt of their son and move on with their lives? They are looking for justice in the death of their son. Get a clue.

    The officer should have been indicted by the Grand Jury. I’m betting the DOJ will have a different view.

    • Don


      You’d better believe it!

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/03/02/eyewitness-provides-account-of-d-j-henry-shooting/ Eyewitness Provides Account Of Pace University Student D.J. Henry Shooting In Thornwood, New YorkCBS Boston

    […] Easton native D.J. Henry died last October at a Thornwood, N.Y., shopping mall. Students had spilled into the parking lot during a homecoming celebration. Read: Justice Dept. To Review Henry Shooting […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Taz Show
Download Weather App

Listen Live