Family of Easton college student slain by police settles for $6 million

Signs in support of the Henry family lined their street in Easton in 2011.
Signs in support of the Henry family lined their street in Easton in 2011. –John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe

The parents of an Easton student who was fatally shot by police in Pleasantville, New York have reached a $6 million settlement with the town and officer responsible for his death, according to a release from the family’s attorney.

DJ Henry, a 20-year-old student at Pace University, was shot and killed on October 18, 2010 by officer Aaron Hess. Police had arrived at a restaurant in Pleasantville to disperse a crowd, and Henry allegedly tried to drive away while officers yelled for him to stop, The Boston Globe reported. Hess stepped in front of Henry’s car and was hit before firing his gun through the windshield.

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“The Henrys have been clear from the beginning that no monetary settlement could ever replace the deep loss of their beloved son DJ,’’ a statement from the family’s attorney said.

Federal prosecutors decided last year that there was not sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Hess, the Globe reported.

The suit wasn’t the Henry’s only legal action against officials — they are continuing to pursue a suit against the town of Mount Pleasant and its police officers, claiming they failed to respond to the gunshot wounds Henry sustained, according to the release. The passengers of Henry’s car have also said officials violated their rights that night, and litigation in federal district court in White Plains, New York on their behalf is ongoing.

The settlement is still pending approval by a judge.

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