The family of Danroy "D.J." Henry Jr., the popular football player from Easton who was fatally shot by police in New York last year, lashed out today at a New York police union’s decision to give an award to the officer who shot him.
The award was particularly insulting, the family said, because the shooting remains under investigation by the US Department of Justice.
“I’m glad the world gets to see the arrogance we’ve been dealing with since Oct. 17, from the district attorney’s office all the way to the Police Benevolent Association,” said Angella Henry, Danroy Henry's mother. “For us, it’s not a surprise.”
Henry had been playing college football at Pace University and was celebrating the team’s homecoming on Oct. 17 when he was shot outside a bar by Pleasantville police Officer Aaron Hess. Police allege that Henry drove his car into Hess and another officer after refusing to stop. A New York State grand jury declined in February to indict police officers in the shooting.
The Police Benevolent Association, the local union, named Hess as an Officer of the Year at its annual awards ceremony on Friday, according to local media reports. Matthew Listwan, president of the union, did not return a call for comment this morning.
According to lawyers for the Henry family, eyewitness accounts have differed from the police account of the shooting, raising questions about whether it was justified. The lawyers have also questioned whether an impartial investigation was conducted.
The Department of Justice said its civil rights division would investigate the case given the nature of the shooting. That investigation is ongoing, a spokeswoman said this morning.
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