The family of a Pace University player who was killed two years ago by police had a small victory after a federal judge ruled that police material can be released as the case goes to trial later this year.
The case involves the death of Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr., who was shot and killed by police officers in Pleasantville, NY, in October 2010, while in his car in front of a bar.
As a result of Magistrate Judge George A. Yanthis’s ruling, a number of items will be released, including the notes of the detectives associated with the shooting as well video, audio of police interviews with witnesses, the 911 calls and more than 100 witness statements, along with police radio transmissions on the night of the shooting.
"This is a significant victory for transparency and for the public right to now," said Michael Sussman, an attorney who is representing the Henry family. This opens the rest of the investigative file. It contains hundreds and hundreds of items. And our office intends to release that information.”
The case of Henry has received national attention. Twenty-year-old Henry and his Pace University football team had lost their homecoming football game hours earlier. In the aftermath, Henry’s fate turned deadly.
Police were summoned to the tavern because of a reported disturbance. Henry was leaving the scene when his vehicle struck Pleasantville, NY, police officer Aaron Hess, who fired his gun through Henry’s windshield, fatally wounding the Easton, MA, student.
Sussman said that the information reveals evidence that one of the police dashboard cameras had been disabled before the incident. Still, he said “I’m not interested in proving my case in the media. I believe that I’ll prove my case in court.”
Henry’s family has said all along that the incident was murder and continues seeking a federal probe in the case.
In an interview with BET.com, his father, Danroy Henry, said, "We’re thankful. That’s really the essence of it. Anytime you take the veil of secrecy off of something like this, we think it helps. It helps smart, discerning people to make objective opinions.”
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(Photo: Courtesy of Henry Family)