Will Danroy 'DJ' Henry Jr's case reopen? Petition to reinvestigate the incident gets over 300K signatures
The late teen's case recently came into focus because of celebrities such as Rihanna and Charlize Theron signing a letter asking the Department of Justice to re-open the case
Nearly 10 years after a 20-year-old Black college student Danroy "DJ" Henry was allegedly shot and killed by a White police officer in Westchester, New York, his death is again in focus after celebrities such as Rihanna, Kerry Washington, and Charlize Theron have signed a letter asking the Department of Justice (DoJ) to re-open his case.
As reported by MEA WorldWide, Rihanna and Jay-Z are also among the list of celebrities who are urging the DoJ to reopen the case from 2010. The musicians have asked US Attorney General William Barr to re-examine the events that led to his death. The letter signed by various celebrities read: “If it did — deliver the justice that restores this young man’s name and reputation while giving hope to other young black men who are just like him and desperate for change. The facts support this request, the law all but requires it, and justice — it demands it.”
A petition was also started on Change.org in support of the late teenager. It states, on Oct 17, 2010, police officer Aaron Hess, allegedly murdered Henry while he was in handcuffs. The teenager was a football player and junior at Pace University. He was celebrating at a sports bar with his teammates when another group got in a fight. He was parked in a fire lane outside the building when he was asked to move and he did so. Hess allegedly shot him, took him out of his car, handcuffed him and laid him on the ground, and left him there to die. According to the petition, Hess was not charged with any crime and was named Officer of the Year later that year. The petition demands that the case be re-opened and be charged with Henry's murder. When this article was last updated, the petition had reached 300,493 signatures.
On July 26, according to WCBV news, dozens had gathered on a football field in Massachusetts to honor Henry. The event was being called ‘The DJ Henry Chain for Justice’ and was held at Oliver Ames High School in Easton. As per a report by Yahoo News, Henry’s father Danroy Henry Sr said, "Initially, there were reports that our son was trying to run people over. He wasn't following directions. And later on, once we got video footage, all of that turned out to not be true. In fact, our son was following an order that was given to him by a police officer. I'm so grateful for the other police officer that came forward and told the truth, because it did change the narrative, and people were able to see that there was an injustice."
The WCBV report quotes Henry’s sister Amber as saying, “Ultimately, we want to see the case reopened, and we want to see Aaron Hess convicted. There was really no need for the use of deadly force and my brother should still be here.”
According to various reports, the pressure on authorities to re-open the case is building up. As per Lohud, actress and stand-up comedian Amy Schumer joined in on the call for justice and spoke about the case during an appearance on ‘The View’. She also tweeted about Henry’s case on July 14 morning, saying, “They are considering reopening the case because of new evidence. We need to support. Please everyone I know post this and say his name #djhenry #justicefordjhenry.” This was tweeted along with a graphic representation of the alleged incident.