JAY-Z, Rihanna, Pharrell and Mary J. Blige are among a number of celebrities demanding justice for the killing of an unarmed black man a decade ago. Danroy “DJ” Henry, a 20-year-old from Boston attending New York’s Pace University, was fatally shot by a white Westchester police officer in 2010, but the man responsible wasn’t indicted.
In a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General William Barr this week, the Justice Department is urged to reopen the investigation.
“The facts support this request, the law all but requires it, and justice — it demands it,” the letter reads.
The Justice Department is asked to look at whether a pattern of discrimination from the officer led to Henry’s death.
“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 letter continues.
Other celebrities Charlize Theron, Taraji P. Henson, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael K. Williams, Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union also signed the letter. In response, DJ’s father Danroy Henry Sr. thanked them for their support.
“We appreciate that they’re sort of leaning into the moment and that they’re willing to stand behind us on this really important matter,” he said.
Henry was in his car when he was killed in Pleasantville on October 17, 2010. His friend Brandon Cox said that they were waiting for friends to come out of a bar when police knocked on the window and told them to move forward. As Henry pulled forward, friends said the police officer told him to stop. This is when officer Aaron Hess allegedly stepped in front of the vehicle and shot through the windshield.
I am so happy that #DJHenry will possibly get the Justice that he deserves. Such a wonderful young man, that was dishonored in death by the cover-up by Police in Westchester County. #SayHisName pic.twitter.com/ma9CNRAeQL
— What the World Needs Now is Love (@Thisizhowwedoit) July 15, 2020