Henry’s Parents Want Independent Toxicology Test
VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBS 2/WCBS 880/1010 WINS/AP) –– When 20-year-old Pace University student Danroy “DJ” Henry was gunned down by police, he was legally drunk, according to sources close to the investigation.
“At the end of the day, does that justify killing our son? Our son is dead. He’s been killed and shot by police. Is this information alone enough to justify that? We still fundamentally believe that it isn’t,” Henry’s father, Danroy Henry Sr., said.
The parents of Henry spoke publicly for the first time Friday and said they planned to have an independent toxicology test conducted. They believe it will yield different results, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
“This feels like it is influenced by an agenda that is attempting to sway the public’s opinion about what happened to our son. We just want the truth. If it’s a part of the truth so be it,” Henry Sr. said.
“We’re not afraid because anyone that knows him, anyone that met him, they know the truth,” Henry’s mother, Angela, said.
In a statement to WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall, Mount Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno said he has not seen the toxicology reports. Alagno said he had “no faith” in what was being reported by media outlets and didn’t know where the information came from.
“Even if it’s true, my wife and I have said we want the whole truth. This becomes a part of that truth,” Henry Sr. said.
Investigators also tried to counter claims that Henry was left to die without swift medical help, saying that the student received treatment from officers within three to five minutes.
Lawyers for some witnesses have alleged that Henry, of Easton, Mass., was neglected for up to 15 minutes after he was shot outside a bar disturbance in Thornwood, N.Y. early Sunday.
At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Henry’s Pace football teammate, Daniel Parker, said he tried to help Henry, but was forced back by police officers at the scene. Parker said a gun was put to his ribs with the warning that he would be next, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
“Only thing I asked was ‘can I help him,'” Parker said, adding that he told the officers he knew CPR.
Parker is one of four Pace football players who were arrested immediately after the shooting.
Hours after they went public, Mount Pleasant police called for a full investigation.
“I want to assure everyone, especially the Henry family, officers and the public, this will be a thorough and impartial investigation,” Algano said.
Parker’s attorney, Bonita Zelman, is calling for an independent investigation by the state’s attorney general and the Department of Justice.
The current investigation is being led by Mount Pleasant police, State Police and the Westchester County District Attorney’s office.
The family announced through a spokeswoman on Friday that a service, called a “celebration of life,” would be held Oct. 29 — on what would have been Henry’s 21st birthday — at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
According to police accounts, the officers opened fire on Henry when he refused to obey commands to stop, and drove his car directly into several officers.
But since coming forward with that timeline, witnesses have lashed out – saying Henry didn’t intentionally do anything to provoke the shooting.
Algano said at a press conference Friday that officers responded with oxygen and a defibrillator within five minutes. Alagno also said investigators are looking for a woman who was seen giving Henry chest compressions before officers took over.
The police department pointed to time stamped audio and video recording. The first report of a disturbance in the bar was at 1:19 a.m. Sunday, and the first report of a shooting was at 1:25 a.m., Alagno said. Between 1:28 and 1:30 a.m., officers noted Henry’s “grave condition,” retrieved oxygen and a defibrillator, and took over CPR from the woman. By 1:35 a.m., Henry was loaded on a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance, Alagno said.
Alagno said Henry was handcuffed after the shooting but does not know how long the cuffs were on. He had said previously that Henry was uncuffed once officers saw the severity of his injury.
A preliminary autopsy confirmed “death by gunshot.” Alagno did not say which officer’s bullet caused the death or how many times Henry was hit. He said the investigation will take months.