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Henry Family: 'We will not stop' (Updated)

The family of DJ Henry intends to push for murder charges.

Update, 6:20 p.m.:

Outside of their Easton, MA home tonight, the family of DJ Henry continued to assert the investigation conducted by the Westchester County District Attorney's office was biased and did not set out to "seek the truth."

"They weren't pursuing the truth," Angella Henry, DJ Henry's mother said. "If they were pursuing the truth, we would be standing here saying something different right now."

The family accused the DA's office of witholding evidence, including its unwillingness to allow Amber Henry, the sister of DJ Henry and sophomore at Oliver Ames High School, to testify. He said Amber Henry's interactions with her brother showed that DJ Henry was clear-headed the night he was shot by Pleasantville, NY Police Officer Aaron Hess.

"We know [evidence] was withheld," Henry's father, Danroy Henry Sr. said.  "Amber was texting with him well into the night and early morning."

The Henrys, who said they never had faith in Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, said they would continue to pursue the case at the federal level. Angella Henry said her husband got the news from the District Attorney's office earlier today.

The Henrys told the press they had never set out to "blindly defend" their son. Instead, they said, they conducted their own investigation which "presented clear evidence."

"There's plenty of video that shows police officers with their guns drawn pointing them at unarmed college kids," Angella Henry said.

Angella Henry and Danroy Henry Sr. were outside of their house on Symphony Drive with Amber Henry and her brother Kyle, a senior at Oliver Ames High School. Angella, Kyle and Amber all wore Oliver Ames football jerseys with DJ Henry's number 12 printed on them.

"The fight has just begun," Angella Henry said. "We are not stopping. We will fight until we are not breathing."

Update, 5:15 p.m.:

In a press conference this evening, Danroy Henry Sr., the father of DJ Henry, and Michael Sussman, the family's attorney, addressed the press, stating they are not surprised by the grand jury ruling, which cleared two Westchester police officers of criminal action in Henry's death.

"I never believed for a second this district attorney was trying to get an indictment," said Danroy Henry Sr. "We're not clairvoyant, but no one is surprised by this."

Henry and Sussman asserted the family will continue to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to take on a separate and objective investigation into the death of DJ Henry, a college student.

"We have before noted the profound institutional interests which connect the DA's office and the local police agencies within her jurisdiction...to say they rely on each other is to say that the fetus relies upon the mother," said Sussman.

Danroy Henry Sr. said he "evidence was either withheld or mishandled during the grand jury proceedings," because, "What's the other option?"

"We're convinced because of the action of the district's attorney office," he added. "It's just fraught with opportunities for even good-intentioned people to do the wrong thing because of their own biases."

When asked why the Henrys believe the U.S. Justice Department will take the case over after months of requests, Sussman said they were told to wait until the grand jury hearing was made "out of respect" for the process and they "would not intercede until this action was completed."

Sussman said he believes the grand jury process in this case was unusual and abused to the extent that the district attorney's office conducted the detailed proceedings behind closed doors, rather than issuing an indictment and saving the majority of the evidence for a 12-person jury trial to determine the officer's innocence or guilt.

Additionally, Sussman said some evidence was left out of the grand jury proceedings purposefly, including an 80-minute tape showing the interview of one of the passenger's in DJ Henry's car with the District Attorney's office. Further, said Sussman, prior to when Danroy Henry Sr. testified before the grand jury, he was told not to speak too much about his son's character is it would "taint the grand jury."

In regards to the autopsy finding indicating Henry had alcohol in his blood, Sussman said witnesses confirmed Henry had ingested a half glass of vodka and juice around 9 p.m. on Oct. 16, but, "There's also no question it has no relevance to the case. It was introduced a long, long time ago to publicly smear this man."

"[The district attorney's office] didn't take steps to make the investigation more objective and impartial," said Henry Sr. "It's proven to be a legitimate concern today."

"All we asked for is tell us the truth," he added. "It's the very foundation of our legal system."

While Sussman acknowledged the Henrys' purposeful dismissmal of questions regarding their son's race throughout their quest for justice, he said he believes today's ruling "sends a clear message to every single parent who has a young person of color away at college" that "they should be very worried."

Going forward, the Henrys hope the Department of Justice "will take a new look at this case," according to Sussman, as well as file a civil suit as indicated by the filed against Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant last month.

Danroy Henry Sr. will address the press outside of his Easton, MA, home this evening. Check back for photos and coverage from the event.

See below for the Henry family's formal statement.

Original Post:

Following the announcement that of an indictment in the case of Danroy "DJ" Henry, the Pace University student who was shot to death on Oct. 17, 2010, the family released the following statement to the press:

There are no words to express our disappointment in the grand jury's decision to issue a no true bill in the case of our son's killing. While losing DJ has been tragic for our family, a compounding tragedy is the reality that this grand jury result is most certainly the result of a process not designed to tell the truth but, rather, to minimize the civil and criminal liability of agencies involved in his death.

An investigation led by a police department employing one of the officers, working very closely with the department employing our son's killer and a District Attorney DiFiorie and her office more concerned about keeping us shielded from the truth yielded an outcome we predicted.  We have no choice but to believe that evidence was either withheld or mishandled during the grand jury proceedings. That ADA Murphy would tell us that the grand jury would not indict if Hess testified and was credible is beyond us. Conclusions appear to have bee drawn at the outset and the entire process appears now to have been nothing short of an attempt to create better optics for the DA and her office.

We now respectfully ask the US DOJ to act in accordance with their statement relating to these very proceedings. This process is most analogous to a person committing a crime which their siblings investigate and for which their closest relatives determine their punishment. All the while the crime victim is left in the dark until the family decides how it handle the misdeed of their own.  Should we expect the conclusion to be fair and impartial?

We also hope that both NY Governor Cuomo and NY Attorney General Shneiderman intercede for the good of their citizens who live in this county without the assurance they should have in the integrity of the people entrusted with the care and safekeeping of our constitution. Truth should not be so elusive
when it is the very foundation of our justice system.

There is only one truth about what led to our son’s death and we believe a review of the actual evidence would have led to an indictment.  What was gathered and what was presented to the grand jury is not known, but the outcome suggests that it fell far short of being effective and far short of absolute truth! We will NOT stop until Mr. Hess is held accountable for the killing of our beloved DJ.

No citizen should accept a murder committed by anyone, certainly not a murder committed by a person sworn to protect the public good.

Chris February 17, 2011 at 12:16 AM
Where in the reports does it say Mr. Henry hit the police officer with the car. It is my understanding the police officer jumped on top of his hood and that the car wasn't going at a substantially fast speed. Since you (Undercover Dude) obviously read some report, please cite your sources. Where has the Henry family made this a race issue? Also, for the people who are bringing up the fact the Henry family established an unreasonable multi-million lawsuit. I ask you, how much money can you put on losing your child? Once again. This is a police brutality issue and it NEEDS to be addressed. Only time will tell if there were any flaws in the trial courts decision. Which I suspect there was.
Chris February 17, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Once again, please cite your sources.
Truthhurts February 17, 2011 at 12:38 AM
Sorry not a "Tarrytowner" and with your slander Undercover I hope someone puts you in your place soon bet he is more then undercover bet he is in the closet as well. I see he is like superman he was there and saw the whole thing and was also at the death of the tarrytown men and saw that as well did you see who killed JFK or better yet whats the next lotto numbers damn loser
Undercover Dude February 17, 2011 at 12:51 AM
Henry was at the wheel of his car with a passenger when cops flooded into the Town Center at Thornwood, shopping plaza -- responding to a chaotic brawl that had spilled out into the front of the bar, cops said. When an officer from Mount Pleasant knocked on the driver’s side window, Henry suddenly gunned his accelerator -- plowing into a cop from nearby Pleasantville. "With the Pleasantville officer clinging to the hood of the car, [the car] continued to accelerate; the Pleasantville officer then fired at the driver," a statement from Mount Pleasant police said. "The suspect vehicle continued ... heading directly toward another Mount Pleasant officer, who also fired at the vehicle. The vehicle then struck a parked Mount Pleasant police car coming to a stop."
Undercover Dude February 17, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Get a clue!
Truthhurts February 17, 2011 at 01:00 AM
Again HEAR SAY as YOU were not there your just saying what you read or heard NON are facts unless you saw it with your own eyes in that case I am sure you testified right LOL AGAIN JUST GO GET A HOBBY LOSER
Chris February 17, 2011 at 01:15 AM
"While Sussman acknowledged the Henrys' purposeful dismissmal of questions regarding their son's race throughout their quest for justice" = Not a race issue.
Truthhurts February 17, 2011 at 01:21 AM
As soon as undercover dude's real name is uncovered it will be public knowledge and with all his HEAR SAY and FALSE comments boy oh boy that's a lot of people in westchester ESPECIALLY TARRYTOWN that will not be too happy with him I'm sure glad it's not me
Chris February 17, 2011 at 02:28 AM
Truthhurts - Everyone's allowed to have an opinion. No need to threat anyone for having a wrong one. Undercover Dude - As you politely stated, "I know way more than you really think and I bet that hurts huh Truthhurts? I know actual facts and I know way more than you'll ever know." Please cite and tell us how you came to knowledge of these "actual facts." If its from a Fox Channel 25 News article (in which i think your quoting from), I'm not impressed. If not, please explain why "an 80-minute tape showing the interview of one of the passenger's in DJ Henry's car with the District Attorney's office" was left out of evidence. Why hasn't the public or your secondary (if that) source articles quote his testimony rather than all the police involved? As sophisticated and an intellectual as you hold or write yourself to be, why wasn't this considered evidence? Is this not an eye-brow raiser? Does this not seem suspicious to you? I'd love to hear your opinion/argument on this. Your article also talks about two officers needing to be treated for trauma... With your actual factual knowledge, I was wondering if these were the officers who ripped Mr. Henry out of his vehicle after shooting him in the head (amongst other areas of his body), throw him onto the pavement, HANDCUFF the 19 year old, AND than deny civilians to try and administer CPR or come to his aid? So I've heard, this is another police training tactic... Do you agree this tactic in this circumstance was necessary?
Chris February 17, 2011 at 02:34 AM
Personally, I find it rather disgusting and unnecessary. As happy as I am that this tragedy has created a great awareness to the police brutality and violation of our civil rights (that I believe occurred here), However, I am also very disgusted with some of the bloggers beliefs, as well as the distasteful and ignorant comments that were posted here.
Truthhurts February 17, 2011 at 02:35 AM
While I agree I must add Undercover has and does nothing but report hear say (fox news or local news12) and just wants a fight on here just look at his BS on the tarrytown DPW workers death he is just a low life trouble maker with NO FACTS. I am sorry and pray for justice for the family and may this death while tragic prevent others and DJ rest in peace
Undercover Dude February 17, 2011 at 03:08 AM
Truth Hurts! I see that in you.. It really does huh? I'm no longer gonna comment on your posts. As for the DPW worker, I know what I'm talking about.. Sean runs a great site, if I continue, he'll close this one thread down. So I'm done with you.. I know the TRUTH on the TTDPW. Hurts doesn't it?
Undercover Dude February 17, 2011 at 03:26 AM
Again, all he had to do is roll down his window and talk to the officer like any other normal person would do.. That's it.. Just that simple. He chose not to and hit the officer.. Game on.. Officer lives to see another day.. There was no police brutality and no violation of their civil rights. And yes, I do agree with their tactic on restraining a suspect. Especially one who tried to kill a police officer. I don't know about you, but my parents taught me to have respect for a police officer and do as they say. If you're not doing anything wrong, you'll be fine. DJ chose not to and it cost him his life. Plain and simple.. Yes there is a lot of police brutality out there, but not in this case. Personally, I think they did great. They shot to stop. If this happened somewhere else, he may have had hundreds of bullets pumped into him. Respect a police officer and do as they say!
Undercover Dude February 17, 2011 at 03:29 AM
And yes, I did copy that from a news article. A lot easier than typing it out. That is what the report says anyway.. I'm out before Sean closes this one out.. Truth Hurts and will come out. The Police will prevail. Later!
stefano February 17, 2011 at 03:41 PM
i think we all know the truth on the TTDPW case. Truth is if the men had followed simple protocols both would be here today. A tragic case of "unqualified supervision" and "unqualified men" losing their lives because of lack of training or lack of common sense. I am sorry for their deaths I truly am but they should have known better.
stefano February 17, 2011 at 03:53 PM
By the way Where in any of the testimony does it say that the kid WAS TRYING TO KILL a policeman.....remember...this is Pleasantville...by all accounts this kid was NOT a troublemaker by any stretch....so how is it he has been touted as being a cop-killer by undercover.....the news sensationalized
Undercover Dude February 17, 2011 at 04:36 PM
I feel so sorry for your kids.
Truthhurts February 17, 2011 at 06:36 PM
Me too with closed minded know it all people like your self undercover everyone's kids are in trouble. Thought you were staying off here till its all over but you just can't
stefano February 17, 2011 at 07:50 PM
dude you got kids? i really doubt it...do you hang out in cop bars and think you're part of the cloth? some of my very good friends are cops and firemen and yes even DPW guys none of them are fond on guys like you that hang on for dear life.....how many pba cards in your wallet?
Undercover Dude February 17, 2011 at 07:54 PM
I'm talking about the DPW case nosy. You're not to smart.. Once again, Truth hurts! Feed me..
Undercover Dude February 17, 2011 at 08:00 PM
I should have said I'm talking more about the DPW case than this one.
Undercover Dude February 17, 2011 at 08:15 PM
Sure do and they know to respect the police. I have a ton of police officer friends as well as FD,EMTand DPW's. Town and County. It's funny, the PO friends that I've spoken to feel the same as me. If you REALLY have PO friends, ask them. I'm sure they'd love to hear your point of view. I'm not hanging on to anything. Don't want to ever be a PO, FD, EMT and never a DPW worker again. It's people like you that give the police a bad name. Try being a cop sometime. They have a hard job. I respect them all and commend them for the job they do for us. How many times have you thanked a PO for doing a good job? I do a lot, and always tell them to stay safe and I've even treated them to a beverage at times. Again, I respect the police and that's because my parents taught me that. I pass that on to my children and they will do the same. My last comment will be once again, Respect the police and do as they say. If you're not doing anything wrong, you'll be free to go. That's the bottom line. Take care Stefano, have a great day.
Chris February 18, 2011 at 04:42 PM
What kind of beverage?
Undercover Dude February 18, 2011 at 09:46 PM
Soda, coffee, Gatorade or a bottle of water. Usually when I see one out in a Pizza shop or Deli. Sometimes at an event.
Chris March 04, 2011 at 10:47 PM
http://easton-ma.patch.com/articles/conflicting-accounts-of-dj-henry-shooting-continue-to-emerge
Mary March 31, 2011 at 03:02 AM
That's a lot of bull, lady. The kid may have had a few drinks, but those lousy gun-happy cops were the cause of his death. He wasn't doing anything except sitting in his car when he was startled by the cop. When he moved forward, his mirror brushed the cop and the cop went wild! Those jackasses from Pleasantville should be held totally accountable for that innocent kid's death and I hope they get what's coming to them! They have absolutely not respect for anyone or anything!
Mary March 31, 2011 at 03:04 AM
He wasn't drunk! He was murdered by a bunch of gung-ho, gun-happy jerks who can't see beyond the end of their noses!
Mary March 31, 2011 at 03:06 AM
"undercover dude" seems to get the whole thing wrong. Maybe he's a cop and maybe he's the one responsible for Henry's death!!
Mary March 31, 2011 at 03:08 AM
The cops were wrong! Period! They overreacted and the result was tragedy. And Difiore is just covering up for them. Of all the muncipalities in Westchester, the cops in Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant are by far the worse!
Undercover Dude March 31, 2011 at 03:36 AM
Come on Mary, lets use the brains you have in your head, not the ones that you sit on.

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