Two cops involved in the fatal shooting of a Pace University football player, Danroy (D.J.) Henry Jr. have been exonerated by a grand jury who found no reasonable cause to vote an indictment in the case.
The 20-year old student was shot at by police in the wee hours of October 17 in 2010 outside a bar at a shopping center in Thornwood, New York where a chaotic drunken outburst among patrons led to an altercation with the police.
Police reports said that D.J. had tried to flee the scene by driving recklessly through the fire lane, knocking down one of the officers, Aaron Hess, on to the hood of the car. Hess had fired four shots from the hood in a reported bid to save his life, while another officer Ronald Beckley fired one shot into the car. However, D.J.'s friends and family have said that he was waiting for a friend to come out and started driving only after he thought that the police wanted him to move his car out of the way. However, they started shooting almost immediately, giving him no time to stop. The family's lawyer had pressed for a murder indictment against the officer.
However, the present decision, announced by the Westchester District Attorney's Office, has stunned and disappointed Henry's family. The New York Post quotes his father as saying, While losing DJ has been tragic for our family, a compounding tragedy is the reality that this grand jury result is most certainly the result of a process not designed to tell the truth but, rather, to minimize the civil and criminal liability of agencies involved in his death.