PLEASANTVILLE, NY (CBSNewYork/AP) – A police union has given its Officer of the Year award to the policeman who shot and killed a college football player during a disturbance in Westchester last October.
Parents of the student, 20-year-old Danroy Henry Jr., of Easton, Mass., called the award insensitive and arrogant.
“We simply asked for truth and honesty, and we’ve gotten arrogance,” said Danroy Henry Sr. “Some people see themselves above the law and above simple human dignity.”
The student’s mother, Angella Henry, said: “Now everyone else is getting to see the kind of inhumane treatment we’ve gotten.”
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“I think that the people in Westchester County should be worried. This is what happens when an officer kills someone,” said Angella Henry.
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The Police Benevolent Association of the Pleasantville Police Department said Wednesday it honored Officer Aaron Hess for his dignity and professionalism since the October shooting and throughout his career.
Hess fired at Henry’s car as Henry drove away from a disturbance that spilled out of a bar in Thornwood, just north of New York City, after Pace University’s homecoming game on Oct. 17, 2010. Hess was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by a Westchester County grand jury in February.
Autopsy results found Henry was above the legal limit for alcohol, but his family says he wasn’t drunk.
Hess, who suffered leg injuries, said he shot at Henry after Henry’s car hit him. Some witnesses disputed that.
The Henry family is seeking federal intervention, and the Department of Justice has said it will review the evidence to determine whether there were any civil rights crimes.
The Henrys are planning a $120 million lawsuit against Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant.
The PBA said the award wasn’t meant to offend the Henry family.
But family lawyer Michael Sussman said, “They’re offended.”
Do you feel the award was in bad taste? Do you think Officer Hess is, indeed, deserving? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.
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