Report: Lawyer says docs ignored Henry
A Pace University football star shot by cops, after allegedly hitting them with his car, lay dying and handcuffed on a road for up to 15 minutes without attention from a medical team at the scene, a lawyer for his family said Tuesday.
Witnesses have told Michael Sussman, the civil rights lawyer hired by slain Danroy “DJ” Henry’s family, that the medical team was treating a much less seriously injured officer.
If that version of the tragic shooting early Sunday morning turns out to be true, Sussman said, “Then it’s reprehensible.”
“I’m trying to get to the bottom of what in the world happened,” he said of the case, which is being probed by Mount Pleasant, N.Y., police, State Police and the Westchester County District Attorney’s office.
Sussman added that it is too early to say whether Henry’s family will file a lawsuit against police.
Henry’s family, who live in North Easton, Mass., Monday issued a statement that said: “The images and reports of our beloved son being handcuffed and left without medical attention for several minutes after he was shot are too much for us to bear right now, yet they represent part of the real truth from that evening.
“While we had been assured of an objective investigation, we are deeply troubled by the various and conflicting accounts reported of the incident that lead to our son’s tragic passing.”
Mount Pleasant cops claim Pleasantville officer Aaron Hess and Mount Pleasant officer Ronald Beckley opened fire on Henry, 20, early Sunday morning after he abruptly tried to drive his car out of a fire lane and hit Hess and a third cop and then a police car outside Finnegan’s bar, where a brawl was going on.
But Sussman noted that after talking to the other two people in Henry’s car, and reading news accounts of the shooting, that “the case right now is a bunch of conflicting statements.”
Sussman said Henry, his hometown buddy Brandon Cox and another friend, Desmond Hinds, drove to Finnegan’s and parked in the fire lane to pick up a fourth friend, Brooklyn native Yves Delpeche, as police responded to a fight that began in the student watering hole and spilled outside.
“The story I have” from witnesses, Sussman said, “is that the police officer came to the driver’s side, knocked on the window and beckoned them forward, saying, ‘You’re in a fire lane, get out of the fire lane.’
Brandon Cox was a passenger in the vehicle in which Henry was killed. Cox called Henry his best friend and disputed the police's version of events.
“What happened from there is they complied, when one of the witnesses heard apparently a police officer screaming, ‘Stop that car!’ They were driving at that point at a low rate of speed as, at this point in time, according to what I’m told, literally a police officer jumps out from what I’m taking to be the sidewalk area, with gun drawn, and literally starts shooting.”
After Henry was mortally wounded -- and Cox was shot in the arm -- Henry “was literally dragged out, handcuffed, and was laying in the middle of the street for 10 to 15 minutes before any medical attention was given,” Sussman said, citing witnesses.
He added that witnesses have also told him that emergency medical workers arrived at the scene and were tending to one of the officers allegedly injured by Henry’s car for some time before they treated the dying Henry.
Mount Pleasant Police Chief Louis Alagno, when asked about Sussman’s version of events, and timeline of Henry’s medical treatment, said, “I won’t respond to that because I don’t know that to be the case.
“I do know that Mr. Henry was handcuffed. They [officers at the scene] reacted to what’s known as a felony vehicle stop, where it’s appropriate to handcuff everyone in the car, even if they’re injured.
“However, once they realized Mr. Henry’s grave condition they administered first aid and removed his handcuffs.”