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Kin call for outside probe of N.Y. shooting

Kin call for outside probe of N.Y. shooting

By Laura Crimaldi and Christine McConville  |   Thursday, October 21, 2010  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Coverage

Photo by Angela Rowlings
A lawyer for Danroy Henry Jr.’s grief-stricken family called for a third-party probe into the Pace University athlete’s police-shooting death yesterday, while the young man’s parents decided to bury their firstborn on what would be his 21st birthday — celebrating a cherished son while mourning a life cut short.
“It’s important to have a sense of fairness, especially in the African-American community, where people feel, in advance, that the outcome is cooked,” New York attorney Michael Sussman said.
But even as an outraged public demands a clearer explanation about what exactly happened before and after Henry, 20, was fatally shot by a Pleasantville police officer, Sussman said the Massachusetts family as well as many New Yorkers aren’t convinced they’ll get the full story.
“There’s got to be another investigative agency, that’s not the (district attorney) or the state police, because these agencies work hand-in-glove with the local police,” he said.
Mount Pleasant police Chief Louis Alagno said it will be months before anyone really knows what happened at 1:20 a.m. Sunday at the Town Center Shops in suburban New York.
And he vowed that the probe by the Westchester County District Attorney’s office, the New York State Police and four officers from Alagno’s department will be thorough and impartial.
Sussman said there is not-yet-released video footage from the incident. “But what does it show? That’s the question,’’ he said. “The police vehicles had video cameras, but we’re not sure where they were pointing.”
In the moments before Henry was shot, a brawl had broken out inside Finnegan’s Grill, a popular pub near campus. When the crowd of about 150 people moved outside, 50 police officers arrived to disperse it, Bonita Zelman, an attorney for six eyewitnesses told the Herald.
Police said an officer motioned to Henry, who was sitting in a parked Nissan in the fire lane outside the pub, to roll down the car window.
Instead, police said, Henry drove off, hitting two officers, and carrying one of them on the hood.
Police said the officers fired into Henry’s car, and when the vehicle came to a stop after hitting a cruiser, the police removed Henry from the car and handcuffed him.
It is not yet known how long he was handcuffed.
He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Yesterday, outside the Henry home in Easton, Bishop Gideon A. Thompson of Jubilee Baptist Church said the family wants answers.
“They are deeply hurt that this kind of force was used,” he said. “He was a model son and a model athlete. Had someone helped him, it’s possible he could still be alive.”
The Henry family has been working with U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, the Republican told WEEI-AM’s Dennis and Callahan show yesterday.
Brown said Henry was a “good kid” with no record.
Thompson said the family will bury “D.J.” on Oct. 29, his birthday.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1290362

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