Officer Aaron Hess appeared in federal court in White Plains for the first time to give a deposition in the civil lawsuit filed against him by the family of Danroy "DJ" Henry, an Easton native.
"It's the first time we heard his story told by him," said Danroy Henry Sr., DJ's father, who was present for the proceedings today with his wife, Angella. Henry added that it is part of a legal process related to the lawsuit.
Michael Sussman, the attorney representing Henry's parents in a civil lawsuit against Hess, as well as the Village of Pleasantville and Town of Mount Pleasant, questioned the police officer—who has not been active since the shooting—today.
Sussman spoke about the case on Friday, when he stated, "...it’s very, very important that we understand from his perspective what he did, and what he didn’t do, and why he did what he did."
Henry by Hess in the Thornwood Shopping Center in the early morning hours of Oct. 17, 2010. He was a 20-year-old student at the time.
While the today's proceedings were not public, the parties involved in the cases spoke with the media outside the courthouse this evening.
Brian Sokoloff, Hess' lawyer, declined to give specifics on what the proceedings entailed over the several hours today.
"It's not fair to the process to give a quick sound bite of what was discussed," he said. "It was hours. We started in the morning, into the afternoon. How could I possibly shed light on, in 10 seconds, on what was discussed?”
A Westchester County grand jury last year.
Bonita Zelman, the attorney for the current and former Pace University students related to the shooting death, was also present today.
"My thoughts are that we will get justice in this case. We just have to keep fighting for it," she said, "that there are so many inconsistencies and illegalities that he committed, including jumping in front of a moving vehicle with his gun drawn and shooting into a car full of unarmed innocent students who committed no wrongdoing.”
Sussman said the depositions will not continue this week, though Zelman said she will have a chance to question Hess at a later date.
She and Sussman have said they will make the deposition transcript public.
Said Danroy Henry, "We’re just trying to make sure that his death isn’t, doesn’t go without some, some prosecutorial penalty.”