Who was Danroy 'DJ' Henry Jr? As Rihanna and Jay-Z demand justice, here's what happened to him
Rihanna and Jay-Z are among the list of many celebrities who are urging the US Department of Justice to reopen Danroy 'DJ' Henry’s case from 2010. The musicians have asked US Attorney General William Barr to re-examine the events that led to the death of the 20-year-old Black boy, who was shot and killed by a police officer ten years ago.
The letter signed by Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter also includes signatures of other celebrities such as Pharrell Williams, Charlize Theron, Taraji Henson, Odell Beckham Jr, Michael Williams, Kerry Washington, Mary J Blige and Gabrielle Union, according to Page Six.
The letter reads, “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.”
Who was Danroy DJ Henry Jr and what happened to him?
Danro was an African American football player at Pace University. On October 17, 2010, he was outside Finnegan’s Grill in Thornwood, New York, when a fight broke out inside the bar. The owner of the bar closed for the evening and called the police catering them about the altercation. “Police officers from both the Mount Pleasant and Village of Pleasantville Police Departments arrived at the scene”, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office, reports CNN.
Reportedly, a Mount Pleasant Officer Aaron Hess knocked on Henry's car window, which was outside the bar, but the latter pulled away instead of rolling them down. The police officer was allegedly hurt when he came in front of Danroy’s vehicle to stop him.
However, Danroy’s family attorney Michael Sussman told during the civil filings that “Henry was driving slowly when Hess lunged at the car and fired through the windshield, killing Henry and wounding his pal.” according to Page Six. Reportedly, the civil suit also alleged that the two police officers “pulled the gravely injured student from his car, handcuffed him and left him on the ground to bleed to death.”
Danroy’s father Henry Sr has said that all that their family wants is transparency. He said, “Either show us you presented a fair and accurate account to the grand jury or reopen the case”.
The reports also state that Danroy’s parents are settled with one of the officers Mount Pleasant for a $250,000 contribution towards a charity started in the memory of Danroy. The family has also received $6 million in a different federal lawsuit.