Family of student killed by police in 2010 accepts $6 million settlement

Thulani DeMarsay, aunt of college football player Danroy "DJ" Henry Jr., speaks to reporters in Boston in 2011.

Story highlights

  • Danroy Henry Jr. and Angela Henry accept a partial settlement of $6 million in the wrongful death suit of their son, "D.J."
  • D.J. Henry, a black college football player, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Thornwood, New York
  • A grand jury did not indict anyone in the case

(CNN)The parents of Danroy "D.J." Henry Jr., an African-American football player at Pace University who was shot and killed nearly six years ago by a white New York police officer, have accepted a partial settlement of $6 million.

The settlement, reached last week, resolves the Henrys wrongful death lawsuit against the Village of Pleasantville and Aaron Hess, the officer who fatally shot their 20-year-old son in October 2010, according to the family's attorney, Michael Sussman.
    "The Henrys have been clear from the beginning that no monetary settlement could ever replace the deep loss of their beloved son DJ," Sussman said in a statement.
    A grand jury decided not to indict anyone involved with Henry's death. The investigation was closed last April. His family watched protests erupt around the country following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York.
    "Our life has been a life of protest, from October 2010 until now," Danroy Henry Sr., DJ's father, told CNN affiliate WCVB in 2014.

    What happened in 2010

    DJ Henry was with a group of friends outside of Finnegan's Grill in Thornwood, New York, on October 17, 2010, the night he was killed. A fight had broken out in the bar, but Henry was not involved, according to a statement released by the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
    As a result of the fight, the owner of Finnegan's Grill closed for the evening and alerted police to the altercation. Police officers from both the Mount Pleasant and Village of Pleasantville Police Departments arrived at the scene, according to Bharara's office.
    A Mount Pleasant officer knocked on Henry's car window, at which point he pulled away. Subsequently, Officer Hess stepped in front of his vehicle.
    "Evidence indicates Mr. Henry's car was braking when it struck the Pleasantville officer, who wound up on the hood of the car, and that the Pleasantville officer then fired through the windshield into the car, wounding one of the passengers and killing Mr. Henry," according to Bharara's office.

    Father disputes police account

    Danroy Henry Sr. has long disputed the police's account that his son struck one of the officers with his car.
    He told WCVB in 2012, "(DJ) didn't hit anybody. He wasn't speeding. Hess has now acknowledged there was nobody in the roadway behind him," Henry said.
    "What DJ probably saw ... was a guy literally running into the path of his car and opened fire almost immediately."
    Sussman, in his statement, said that "while this aspect of their lawsuit has been resolved, they will continue to deal with their deep loss by focusing on faith, family and the important work of the DJ Henry Dream Fund," a nonprofit organization created in the wake of his death.
      "The Henrys' related litigation continues against the Town of Mount Pleasant and officers from that Town who, plaintiffs contend, failed to respond to the grievous gunshot wounds inflicted by Mr. Hess upon their son," Sussman said in a statement.
      The Danroy and Angella Henry could not be reached for comment on Monday. Neither the Pleasantville Police Department nor Hess immediately responded to CNN's request for comment Monday.