No indictment in Danroy Henry case
Amity Paye | 4/12/2011, 4:46 p.m.
On Monday, a grand jury found no reasonable cause for indictment in the police killing of Pace University football player Danroy Henry last October.
Henry was shot and killed by police on Oct. 17 in Pleasantville, N.Y., just after playing in Pace's homecoming football game. The Westchester D.A.'s office and Mount Pleasant police department led the investigation into his death, claiming that Henry sped into a police officer and almost hit another on that night. Witnesses disputed this story. An autopsy also found that Henry was intoxicated on the night of his death, but scientific evidence also disputed this finding.
Looking at the inconsistencies in the case, Henry's family members originally asked for the case to be taken out of the Westchester D.A. and police department's hands, saying the they were too close to the case to properly investigate it. However the federal Department of Justice declined to take over, and the case went through a grand jury in suburban New York.
"There are no words to express our disappointment in the grand jury's decision," Henry's father, Danroy Henry Sr., said in a statement on Monday. The Henry family was looking for a murder indictment in this case.
Pace University also issued a statement about the decision, saying, "We understand that the decision will disappoint many students and other members of the Pace community. We are proud of them and their ongoing efforts to remember their classmate, teammate and friend, and to support the Henry family through this difficult time."
In a news release, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said the grand jury heard testimony from 85 witnesses and jurors reviewed videos shot by a civilian witness, surveillance footage from two commercial establishments located in the shopping center where the incident occurred and a video recording from a police vehicle responding to the scene. This is despite the fact that prosecutors originally said in November that the cameras in the squad cars at the scene of Henry's death were idle when he was killed.
Henry Sr. told the press on Monday, "We need to try and make sure people understand what happened, not why it happened. We may never know why it happened, but we need people to understand what happened, because what happened was murder." He may still get his chance to find out more of what happened, because just hours after the grand jury announced their decision on Monday the Department of Justice announced that they will be examining the case, as the Henry family had previously requested.
"It needs to stop," said Henry's mother, Angela Henry, to the press on Tuesday. "It could happen again to anyone's child."