WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County District Attorney Miriam Rocah is reopening two cases of police involved fatal shootings of civilians. In neither case did a grand jury hand up indictments against the police officers involved and the proceedings were sealed by the court.
Danroy Henry, Jr., Known as DJ, was killed on October 17, 2010 when officers shot at his moving car. He was 20 years old.
Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., 68, a former U.S. Marine, suffered from mental illness and was shot and killed in his home on November 19, 2011 following a confrontation with White Plains Police after they responded to an accidental medical alert. At times during the confrontation, Chamberlain possessed a knife.
Both cases were reviewed by district attorney office prosecutors who presented evidence to grand juries. No indictments were returned in either case.
Rocah said the current reviews will be conducted internally by designated assistant DAs and investigators with assistance of a team of pro bono attorneys led by John Gleeson, a partner in a law firm who previously served as a U.S. District Court judge in the Eastern District of New York and who was also a federal prosecutor.
For the families of the two men, “the pain of their loss has not gone away over the past 10 years, nor have the questions they have about why their loved ones were killed,” said the DA. The families of the victims and members of the community have asked her to review the circumstances of the shootings, the investigations and charging decisions by the DA’s office, and grand juries’ decisions not to prosecute, Rocah said.
Rocah said she wants to take a fresh look at the cases because, “Today, we have appropriately higher expectations for scrutiny of police encounters with mentally ill and unarmed people and for prosecutors’ responses to such incidents.”
She said while she has chosen to conduct the reviews, “I am in no way pre-judging the outcome. I can say that further action beyond the review will only be taken if the facts and law warrant it.” The DA said she will make the final determination on what, if any, additional steps are appropriate.
Danroy Henry Sr. and Angella Henry, parents of DJ, said, “In the 3,088 days since our son was killed, we have simply asked for an objective review of the absolute truth surrounding his killing.”
Kenneth Chamberlain Jr.;, son of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., said, “After 10 years, e believe there may never be actual justice for my father, but we are hopeful that there will be some accountability in the killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.”