A Westchester grand jury declined to bring charges against two police officers who shot and killed a Pace University student last October. Danroy "D.J." Henry was killed when the car he was driving hit two police officers who had been responding to a rowdy scene at a Thornton, NY restaurant; when Henry did not stop the car, the police officers fired at him. The Journal News reports that the White Plains jury heard from "dozens of witnesses in the past month — including the officers and other occupants of the car Henry was driving."
According to the police, Officer Aaron Hess was first hit by Henry. Henry kept driving and Hess, while on the hood of the car, fired at Henry multiple times because Henry wouldn't stop. Then Henry drove into Mount Pleasant Officer Ronald Beckley, who fired once. One of Hess' bullets killed Henry. Toxicology results showed that Henry's blood alcohol was 0.13, above the 0.08 legal limit, but the incident, between the two white police officers and the 20-year-old black man, sparked racial debate. Henry's friends also claimed that cops Tasered them while trying to help their dying friend.
Hess' lawyer issued a statement, "Sometimes the truth is painful and in this case the painful truth is that D.J. Henry brought about his own death. He could have and should have stopped his car before he hit Aaron Hess. Aaron Hess did not take any joy or satisfaction in taking the life of D.J. Henry, but responded to D.J. Henry's actions in the only way he could to save his life and the lives of those in the parking lot that morning."
Danroy Henry Sr. was upset at the grand jury's decision, "While losing D.J. 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." The Henry family is planning a $120 million lawsuit against the Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant police.