A police officer who shot and killed a Pace University football player last fall has been honored as “officer of the year” by the Pleasantville Police Benevolent Association.
Officer Aaron Hess received the award last Friday after spending several months recovering from knee injuries relating to the events of Oct. 17, 2010, when police say that Pace football player Danroy “DJ” Henry, 20, ran his car into Hess after ignoring orders to stop.
Hess was thrown onto the hood and fired into the car, killing Henry. A grand jury investigating the police shooting found "no reasonable cause" to indict the officers involved.
Some witnesses disputed the police account. The Department of Justice said in February that it would examine the case.
In a statement made after the shooting, PBA President Matthew Listwan said Hess sustained knee injuries from the collision, requiring a 4 ½ hour surgery.
Listwan told Patch.com that Hess received the Officer of the Year award “to recognize all he went through and all his hard work.”
Listwan was not available for further comment at this time.
"It's not surprising, although it's shocking and outrageous, that this gentleman would be so awarded," said the attorney for the Henry family, Michael Sussman. "Yes, the family is offended, but the family is in this for the long haul."
Henry's mother, Angela, blasted the PBA's decision to reward the officer who fired the bullets that killed her son.
“It speaks to the arrogance that we have experienced since Oct. 17, 2010,” Angela Henry told the Boston Herald. “It just shows their inhumanity and their arrogance and we just continue to move forward and fight for justice for our son and we hope that the Justice Department will look at everything carefully.”