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NY Cop Cleared in DJ Henry Shooting

By Jason Beahm on February 17, 2011 5:57 AM

The New York cop that shot and killed DJ Henry has not been indicted, but that doesn't mean that the matter is over. Danroy Henry Jr., was a popular football player and student at Pace University. The family is suing the Town of Mount Pleasant and Village of Pleasantville, N.Y. for $120 million.

"There are no words to express our disappointment in the grand jury's decision,'' Henry's father, Danroy Henry Sr., said in a statement regarding the Danroy Henry shooting yesterday, the Boston Globe reports. Henry continued, "Conclusions appear to have been drawn at the outset ... and the entire process appears now to have been nothing short of an attempt to create better optics for the DA and her office.''

Of course, there are at least two sides to every story. Everyone seems to agree that the Danroy Henry shooting happened outside a bar that Henry had been inside earlier. Police responded to a disturbance that spilled outside the bar. Henry was parked outside when a police knocked on his window. Henry drove off as the officer attempted to stop him, and then fired through the windshield, killing Henry. But the attorney for officer Aaron Hess says that his client acted properly and the grand jury was right not to indict him. Nevertheless, the Danroy Henry civil suit is moving ahead.

"The loss of life that occurred that morning is regrettable and tragic, but any reasonable view of the evidence as to what took place that night demands recognition of the fact that Aaron Hess acted properly and D.J. Henry did not ... Sometimes the truth is painful, and in this case the painful truth is that D.J. Henry brought about his own death," said John K. Grant, Hess's lawyer, the Boston Globe reports.

A wrongful death action by DJ Henry's family will require the showing of negligent or intentional conduct by the town or police officer. In this case, Henry's family must prove that the shooting was not a reasonable use of force by the officer under the circumstances.

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