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Danroy Henry Sr. Testifies About Son’s Death at Grand Jury

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Danroy 'DJ' Henry

Danroy ‘DJ’ Henry (credit: Personal Photo)

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) – The father of a college football player killed by police testified Friday to a grand jury and said afterward he’d rather talk about how his son lived than how he died.

Danroy Henry Sr., observing secrecy rules, would not say specifically what he told the grand jury investigating the actions of police officers on the night Danroy Henry Jr. was killed.

WCBS 880 Reporter Catherine Cioffi has comments from Danroy Henry Sr.

WCBS 880 Reporter Catherine Cioffi reports Henry’s pain is visible in his eyes and he says testifying was difficult.

But he said outside the Westchester County Courthouse, “I’m having now to talk about how my son died and not about how he lived and that’s what’s really difficult about it.”

He said if the 23 jurors “really look at how he lived and measure that with how he comported himself that night, there should be an indictment here.”

Danroy Henry Jr., a 20-year-old Pace University student from Easton, Mass., was killed Oct. 17 when officers fired at his car as he drove away from a bar in the New York City suburb of Thornwood, near the Pace campus. Police had been called to a disturbance that spilled out of the bar after the Pace homecoming game.

Witness accounts of the shooting have differed sharply. Police have said that Henry sped away and hit Pleasantville Officer Aaron Hess, who has acknowledged shooting at Henry through Henry’s windshield.

The Henry family lawyer, Michael Sussman, has called for a murder indictment against Hess.

“The use of force was unjustified,” he said Friday.

But Hess’ lawyer has said he was thrown onto the hood of the car by the impact and had no alternative but to shoot.

Autopsy results showed that Henry had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit for driving.

Brandon Cox, Henry’s best friend, who was in Henry’s car and was wounded in the shooting, also testified to the grand jury Friday, his lawyer Charles Ogletree said. Cox, also 20 and from Easton, would not comment afterward.

He has said in the past that Henry thought he was following police instructions when he pulled away from the bar and that Hess did not signal for the car to stop.

The Henry family is planning a $120 million lawsuit against the municipalities whose officers were involved in the shooting.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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