NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — No federal civil rights charges will be brought in the 2010 death of a college football player by a Pleasantville police officer, who said he shot the man in his moving car when he failed to stop.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Tuesday that evidence in the shooting of Danroy Henry Jr. in Thornwood failed to establish the “exacting standard of criminal intent” required for criminal charges.
Bharara said the conclusion was reached after an exhaustive examination of all evidence, including consultation with experts.
Officer Aaron Hess, who shot the Pace University football player, was earlier cleared by a grand jury.
Henry was shot in his car as he drove through a parking lot away from a disturbance that spilled out of a bar in Thornwood on Homecoming Day — Oct. 17, 2010.
In a written statement, Bharara said, “To prove a violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a law enforcement officer willfully deprived an individual of a constitutional right, meaning that the officer acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids.
“This is one of the highest standards of intent imposed by law, and is different and higher than the intent standard under the relevant state statutes. Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish a willful federal criminal civil rights violation.
“After conducting an exhaustive examination of all of the evidence, including consultation with experts, career federal prosecutors determined that the evidence does not establish the exacting standard of criminal intent required for a federal criminal civil rights prosecution.”