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Prosecutor Says No Civil Rights Charges In D.J. Henry Thornwood Shooting

Danroy "D.J." Henry
Danroy "D.J." Henry Photo Credit: File photo

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- Evidence does not support pursuing federal criminal civic rights charges in connection with the 2010 fatal shooting of Danroy "D.J." Henry Jr. in Thornwood, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara announced Tuesday.

Henry, a football player at Pace University, was killed during an encounter with police officers from the Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant police departments outside Finnegan's Bar & Grill in the early morning of Oct. 18, 2010.

A police officer knocked on the driver's side window of Henry's car as he was parked in a fire lane. Police reported Henry then sped off, but Henry's family countered he drove at an appropriate speed and did so in response to the officer's instructions to move. Henry's car then struck an officer, who landed on the roof of Henry's car and fired through the windshield. Henry’s parents were informed of the decision earlier in the day Tuesday, according to a statement issued by Bharara's office.

After examining all of the evidence, including consultation with experts, federal prosecutors determined that the evidence does not establish the exacting standard of criminal intent required for a federal criminal civil rights prosecution, the statement said.

"To prove a violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a law enforcement officer willfully deprived an individual of a constitutional right, meaning that the officer acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids," the statement read.

View the complete statement here.

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