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Family Of Pace U. Football Player Killed By Police Files Civil Rights Suit

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Danroy "DJ" Henry

Danroy “DJ” Henry (Photo/Facebook)

Al Jones Al Jones
A native of Grand Forks, North Dakota, Al Jones has been with 1010...
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The parents of Pace University football player Danroy “D.J.” Henry have officially filed a civil rights lawsuit against the officer who shot and killed him.

In the complaint, Danroy Henry Sr. and Angella Henry said police violated the civil and constitutional rights of their son and demanded compensation for their son’s death and their suffering.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports from White Plains

“Our son was wrongfully killed,” Danroy Henry Sr. said at news conference outside the family home. In a statement accompanying the lawsuit, the parents said, “The pain of losing our son so suddenly is insatiable and not only has his absence changed us forever, but his suffering will always haunt us as well.”

Henry, 20, was shot dead by a police officer in Pleasantville last fall. Henry was driving away from a disturbance outside a bar. Aaron Hess, the officer who shot Henry, said he was struck by Henry’s car and hurled onto the hood. He shot Henry through the windshield. Hess suffered serious injuries.

Some witnesses have disputed Hess’ account.

In their complaint, the Henrys said the car was moving at a reasonable speed and that Hess jumped in front of the car, “ascended” the hood and fired at their son for no good reason.  They also said he “steadied himself and fired four shots.”

No specific amount of damages was listed in the complaint. The family’s attorney, Michael Sussman, said in January the Henrys would seek $120 million.

In February, a grand jury cleared officer Hess of any wrongdoing. Just a week ago, the Police Benevolent Association of the Pleasantville Police Department gave Hess their “Officer Of The Year” award.

The Department of Justice previously said it would review the case for civil rights crimes, since Henry was black and all the officers involved were white.

In February, Danroy Henry Sr. said the grand jury’s decision to clear Hess of wrongdoing was “not designed to tell the truth but rather to minimize the civil and criminal liability of the agencies involved.”

What do you think of the lawsuit? Is it a money grab or an attempt to get some kind of justice for the death of their son? Sound off in our comments section.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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