NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — A prosecutor says no federal civil rights charges will be brought in the 2010 shooting death of a college football player from Easton, Mass. by a suburban New York police officer who says he shot him in his moving car when he failed to stop.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Tuesday that evidence in the shooting of Danroy Henry Jr. in Thornwood failed to establish the “exacting standard of criminal intent” required for criminal charges.
The prosecutor said the conclusion was reached after an exhaustive examination of all evidence, including consultation with experts.
Aaron Hess, the Pleasantville officer who shot the Pace University football player, was earlier cleared by a grand jury. Henry was shot in his car as he drove through a parking lot away from a disturbance that spilled out of a bar on Homecoming Day.
Hess fired at Henry and his passenger from the hood of Henry’s car. Henry’s passenger, Brandon Cox, was injured in the shooting.
Henry family attorney Michael Sussman tells WBZ he’s disappointed in the decision, as is the family.
“They expressed to me their deep faith in the civil justice system, their deep faith in God, their belief in their son, and they are prepared to proceed and vindicate his reputation fully in a federal court in New York,” Sussman said.
Sussman says there are two pending civil rights lawsuits.
Prosecutors said Bharara expressed his deep sympathy to Henry’s family when he informed them of the decision earlier Tuesday.
On Twitter, DJ Henry’s father sent out a series of tweets in reaction to the news.
“Our family always recognized that we could never be victorious regardless of the outcome of the @CivilRights review. DJ won’t return home,” Danroy Henry Sr. said in a tweet.
“We do not fault the @CivilRights DOJ for failing to undue the wrong committed by Aaron Hess. Murder is murder! Intent to us is clear,” he continued.
“We will take some time to reflect and be available after that time. It our hope that Hess will see and admit his wrong. Admit then forgive!”
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)