The parents of Danroy Henry, known also as DJ, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer who shot and killed him last year. In a statement prepared by the family, the attorney for the plaintiffs said, “From the investigation the family has conducted, it is apparent that others acted in grossly irresponsible manners. These parties should be held accountable for their failures.” The statement was released shortly after the officer, one Aaron Hess, was honored by the Pleasantville Police Benefit Association.
According to police reports, officer Hess was responding to a brawl that had broken out in front of a bar. A number of patrons were involved in the altercation, and Hess called for backup. Approximately fifty officers ended up responding to the call in order to break up the various fights going on.
During this process, a car that was parked nearby accelerated and attempted to leave the scene. Allegedly the car struck an officer that tried to flag the vehicle down, and the officer opened fire. DJ Henry was driving the vehicle in question.
An attorney for officer Hess released his client’s response to the suit, saying, “the tragedy of D.J. Henry’s death cannot and should not be distorted to pursue an agenda which ignores the sad and painful truth that a 20-year-old man who by all accounts was a good and decent human being made very, very poor decisions that night and morning that brought about his own death.”
Prior to the filing of the suit, a grand jury refused to indict Hess in the death of Mr. Henry. In their filing of the wrongful death suit, the family has argued that the grand jury was presented distorted and faulty information, a charge officer Hess denies.
There is no date currently scheduled for hearings, although according to sources, the Henry family are in the case for the long haul.