WESTCHESTER COUNTY, New York (WABC) – Westchester County’s District Attorney Miriam Rocah announced Thursday a police review of the controversial shootings of Danroy Henry and Kenneth Chamberlain.
Former federal judge John Gleeson will assist with the investigation of the shootings themselves and with the Westchester prosecutor’s subsequent handling of the cases.
Danroy Henry Jr., known as DJ, was killed on October 17, 2010 when officers shot his moving vehicle.
He was 20 years old and a student at Pace University.
“In the 3,088 days since our son was murdered, we have simply requested an objective verification of the absolute truth about his murder,” parents Danroy Henry Sr. and Angella Henry said in a statement. “We applaud today’s news as a necessary and overdue move that we hope will produce a fairer outcome.”
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Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., a 68-year-old former U.S. Marine suffering from mental illness, was shot dead in his home on November 19, 2011 after White Plains Police responded to an accidental medical alert.
“My family and I are thrilled to have the matter under investigation by the Westchester County Attorney’s Office,” said son Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr. “After 10 years, we believe that justice may never really come to my father, but we do hope the killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. will be held accountable In my opinion, this is a huge step towards building trust between law enforcement agencies and “the communities they serve.”
At some points during the confrontation, Chamberlain owned a knife.
“For the families of Kenneth Chamberlain and DJ Henry, the pain of their loss has not gone away in the past 10 years, nor has the questions they have about why their loved ones were killed,” said Rocah. “The Chamberlain and Henry families, and many members of the Westchester Ward, asked me to review the circumstances of the shootings, the prosecution’s investigative and indicting rulings, and the grand juries’ decision not to return the charges in either case. I announce that I will do just that. “
In the months following these two incidents, the shootings of Henry and Chamberlain were reviewed by prosecutors who eventually presented evidence and witnesses before the grand juries whose job it was to determine whether that evidence was sufficient to support the criminal charges brought by prosecutors .
“Some may ask why look back?” said Roca. “The reason is simple: Today we have correspondingly higher expectations regarding the control of police encounters with mentally ill and unarmed people and the reactions of the public prosecutor’s office to such incidents. The Henry and Chamberlain families and our community firmly believe that further independent review is needed ”to heal the open wounds of these shootings. It is in this spirit that this review is carried out.
In either case, no indictment was rejected by the grand juries and the trial was automatically sealed by the court.
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“I want to be very clear,” said Rocah. “Although I have chosen to conduct this review, I do not anticipate the result in any way. At this point in time, I cannot say whether any further action should be taken. I can say that further action beyond the review will only be taken if the facts and the law justify it. I will make the final decision on what additional steps, if any, are appropriate. “
The current reviews are being conducted in-house by assistant district attorneys-designate and investigators chosen by Rocah for the role, with the assistance of a team of pro bono attorneys led by Judge Gleeson.
“With the prosecution playing a central role in the original investigation and presentation to the major juries, I believe the best way is for Judge Gleeson to attend the review and give me recommendations,” Rocah said. “Judge Gleeson’s work as a federal judge has earned him widespread respect and a reputation for fairness and integrity that I saw firsthand when I served him as a trainee lawyer many years ago. I am delighted that he agreed to these To take on the task. ” this important task. “
There is no set timetable for completing the review process.
“It is a privilege to help with this important endeavor,” said Judge Gleeson. “Our team looks forward to investigating the circumstances surrounding these two shootings, as well as the investigation and evidence presented to the grand juries, and to provide DA Rocah with an independent recommendation on how to proceed.”
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