Northern Suburbs News

Evidence released in Pace football player shooting

Monday, March 12, 2012

Even though the police have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the shooting death of Danroy "DJ" Henry, the family is pursuing the case in civil court.

The family's attorney released dozens of pages of police and witness testimony, audio transmissions and dash-cam video, all so the public knows what led to the death of the 20-year-old college football player.

The new tapes and documents show uncertainty and chaos 17 months ago when Pace University football star DJ Henry was killed in Thornwood.

Passengers in Henry's car say they couldn't see through the fogged up windows as police tried to stop the car before firing.

"I need a medic and an ambulance. Officer down struck by vehicle. Shots fired, officer down. Pleasantville Officer down. Two under at this time," said an officer in police radio transmission.

The dash-cam video appears to confirm the testimony of witnesses on the scene; that immediately after the police shooting of Danroy "DJ" Henry in October of 2010, injured Pleasantville Officer Aaron Hess received immediate medical help, while Henry, lying between the officer and the police cruiser, received little attention as he clung to life.

"DJ wasn't talking, wasn't saying. I saw his chest moving a bit," Brandon Cox told investigators.

Cox was in the passenger seat of Henry's car at the time of the shooting and saw his friend lying on the ground.

Laura Sardelli, a Pace University grad student, told investigators an officer checked on Henry three to four minutes after he was pulled from the vehicle, a time frame corroborated by others.

"It looks like a large gathering outside, doesn't appear to be fights in progress at this time, place is clearing out," an officer said in the police radio transmission.

Statements by responding officers clearly show that Henry, sitting behind the wheel of his car, did not stop his vehicle despite police knocks on his window, despite the loud yells from cops, despite Officer Hess standing in front of the car before getting run over.

Passenger Brandon Cox offered an explanation.

"I didn't see out the front because the front window had condensation. I have no idea why DJ didn't stop. The car stopped, and don't know how," Cox said.

Lastly, there are conflicting accounts as to how fast Henry's car was travelling when Officer Hess opened fire.

Police said they heard the engine rev.

Others heard tires squeal.

"We were going parking lot speed, not excessively fast," Cox said.

But, the bar owner felt police were trying to stop the car because "it was going so fast."

Defense lawyers maintain the car's speed was 14.7 miles per hour. However, a county police report puts the speed at 24 miles per hour.

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Tags:
danroy henry jr., police shooting, northern suburbs news, joe torres
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