DJ Henry was shot and killed by police officer Aaron Hess on October 17, 2010 in Pleasantville, NY.
Following the incident, it was reported that Henry was approached by officers whilst he was in a vehicle whilst outside of a bar. Officers allegedly asked him to move his car out of a fire lane.
An officer’s report later stated that Henry allegedly put his foot on the gas and rammed two police officers – something that caused them to open fire on the DJ, who was also a college student at the time.
However, witness reports from the time contradict the officer’s statement, with several alleging that as Henry attempted to move the car, an officer stood in front of the car and fired shots. Police later said their initial statements “do not fully or fairly represent the facts of that early morning.”
Now, artists including Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Charlize Theron, Pharrell Williams are more have launched a petition for the case to be reopened and re-examined.
The letter, shared on July 13, urged Attorney General William Barr to “reopen the case and probe the wrongful death of Danroy ‘D.J.’ Henry.”
It continued: “As the Department knows, this agonising case remains an unhealed wound for the Henry family and the people of New York…More concerning, even a cursory review of the fact pattern of what occurred distills more questions than answers.”
“D.J., a young black youth with a bright future ahead of him, was killed for no apparent reason inside his own vehicle. The facts of the case reek of local conflict of interest, racial bias and even false testimony.
“But like so many other unarmed and innocent young, black men who find themselves guilty of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, D.J., too, lost his life for no good reason and with absolutely no good explanation — to this very day, Justice, it appears, has been denied.”
The petition comes as the US continues to call for justice following the death of George Floyd who died in Minneapolis on May 25 following an altercation with police officers.
Floyd, 46 was killed when a police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for over eight minutes as he lay on the ground during an arrest.
Chauvin, who was sacked following Floyd’s death, has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
A host of musicians and celebrity figures have shared their support for the Black Lives Matter protests, which continue across the globe after igniting following the death of Floyd.
Speaking to NME about the protests, George The Poet called the action an “opportunity to reassess our story.
“For this recent outburst and outpouring of pain to be seen as ‘finally the moment’ is a complete fallacy. It’s a complete misrepresentation of how many moments have been won up to this point and just how futile those moments have been.”