PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Celebrities are joining the push to reopen the case for the fatal police shooting of a Black college football player in Westchester.
Charges were never filed, but the young man’s family is hoping there’s finally momentum to change that.
Music icon Pharrell Williams and comedian Amy Schumer have joined other celebrities like Jay-Z and Rihanna to sign a letter calling on the Department of Justice to reopen the case surrounding the death of Danroy Henry Jr., known as DJ, at the hands of Pleasantville Police.
“It’s not about hope for me now, it’s about action,” Danroy Henry Sr., the victim’s father, said.
Henry is still searching for answers after his son was killed in October 2010.
The Pace University football player was celebrating after a game at a sports bar in Westchester County with teammates when a fight started involving other people.
Police say DJ was parked in a fire lane. When he was asked to move, he was shot by Officer Aaron Hess.
Police allege DJ tried to run over the officer, who was on the car’s hood when he fired the fatal shots.
The now-former officer said this in a deposition: “I only reacted to what I thought, that I was going to be killed.”
But witnesses in the car say the shooting was unprovoked.
DJ died while handcuffed alone on the pavement.
A grand jury and the U.S. Attorney’s office did not file charges at the time.
Nearly 10 years later, a Change.org petition has more than 73,000 signatures asking for the case to be reopened, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports.
RELATED STORY — DJ Henry’s Family Still Hopes For Answers 10 Years Later
DJ’s father has personally petitioned the governor’s office and Attorney General, saying the initial case presented was based on a false narrative and deserves more transparency.
“We think with enough of us asking very fair and legitimate questions that they’ll have no choice but to reopen the case,” Henry said.
In response, the Westchester County District Attorney said in part, “The criminal case can only be reopened if new evidence is discovered.”
The Henry family has not heard from the governor or Attorney General about the possibility of reopening the case.