This is the fourth in a series of stories on the anniversary of DJ Henry's death. The first focused on supporters changing their Facebook statuses in honor of the Pace University student. The second looked at the Jay-Z and Kanye West song about DJ Henry . The third described Pace University's memorial ceremony .
PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. Looking back at the shooting of Pace University student Danroy "DJ" Henry by a police officer a year ago outside a bar in Thornwood, Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer said the incident was a "call to responsibility."
"We are all individuals responsible for behaving in a way that keeps the community safe," Scherer said. "That's my take on this anniversary."
Just after midnight of Oct. 17 last year, Henry was shot and killed inside his car by Pleasantville police officer Aaron Hess in circumstances that are still unclear. Reports seem to agree, however, that at a certain point Hess was struck by Henry's car and landed on the hood. Hess shot through the windshield.
Medical exams indicated that Henry, who had been in the bar with a friend, was legally drunk at the time of the shooting, even though the friend said he was acting normally and had not been drinking much.
Noel Leader, a retired New York City police sergeant and co-founder of the organization 100 Blacks in law Enforcement, said that Hess, also a former New York officer, didn't follow correct police procedures at the time of the shooting.
"It's a poor tactic to jump in the middle of a street in front of a moving vehicle," Leader said. "Tactics are very important."
Matt Listwan, president of the Pleasantville Police Benevolent Association, didn't want to comment on the shooting, but in a statement he released last year he said that Hess "acted in accordance with his training and as required under the circumstances," highlighting that Hess had never before fired his weapon on duty and had never been disciplined.
The organization chose Hess office of the year last April.
Scherer, too, pointed out that the Pleasantville police had not fired a weapon in decades before the shooting, but also said that "college kids should be able to grow up and live productive lives."
"We all need to respect one another," he said. "Try not put others and yourself in a situation where things can spin out of control."
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