Statement of the Henry Family - October 25, 2010

Oct 25, 2010, 16:05 ET from Henry Family

EASTON, Mass., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Our family has been united in the pursuit of the absolute true account of the events leading up to our son's killing by Mount Pleasant and Pleasantville, New York police officers on October 17th.  

As the accounts of eye witnesses and physical evidence emerges, less and less of the account police issued at 10:00 a.m. on October 17 (the morning of our son's killing) seems to be supported as the basis for the absolutely true account of the circumstances that led to his killing.  

We are disappointed in the allegations about our son's blood alcohol and as we've stated through our counsel, this is simply a red herring.  Even unsubstantiated evidence is in conflict with the MULTIPLE eye witness statements about the facts of the night.  DJ was not drunk, not drinking and refusing drinks because he was the designated driver.  How our son could have been found to be anything other than sober is perplexing to us and without an autopsy or the cooperation of the investigators, we must treat this allegation as an intentional fabrication, bad forensic science or an attempt to assault his character.  We are simply seeking the truth through a competent and impartial investigation.  

As we pursue the truth, pushing aside red herrings, there remain legitimate questions we need answered:

1. What was the probable cause or suspicious activity observed by the police officer who tapped on the window of DJ's vehicle?

2. Was there any verbal communication between this officer and others at the scene and, if so, what was its content?

3. Was an order to stop our son's car given and, if so, why, by whom and to whom?

4. Did the police officers receive tactical judgment training? Who was the certifying official?

5. What crime had been committed that justified the officers' use of deadly force?

6. What are established Rules of Engagement (ROE) when responding to large scale disturbances involving multiple college students?

7. When was the last time that the Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant Department together exercised a response to a large scale disturbance? What were the lessons learned from that exercise and who was the certifying official?

8. Did the joint exercise lead to a modification in the ROE?

9. What are the departmental rules for the use of deadly force and were they followed?

10. Is waving the officer's weapon, pointing a weapon at college students or treating college students with deadly force a part of the established ROE?

11. Did the response by multiple departments contribute to the chaos of the evening?

12. Who was in charge on the ground?

13. What was the risk assessment associated with the disturbance at the bar?

14. What were the factors that warranted an escalation by the police force that merited the use of guns to control the scene? Is this part of the ROE?

15. Was the forensic evidence from the vehicle consistent with statements issued by the police?

16. What are the established procedures for rendering first aid (i.e. CPR) to victims involved in police shootings?

17. When was the last time individual officers received training on how to respond to large disturbances? Who was the certifying official?

18. Was the individual training aligned with the objectives of the joint Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant joint response exercise?

Having these questions and others answered, will help us get to the absolute truth we are seeking so that we can begin the process of coming to terms with the killing of our beloved son.  As our attorney has requested, the process of answering these questions must be led by an independent entity like the US Department of Justice.  We join the call for the active involvement of that agency.

Note to editors: Additional questions can be referred to attorney Michael Sussman of Goshen, New York.

SOURCE Henry Family