Rihanna and Jay-Z want justice for Danroy Henry

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Celebrities have sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice urging them to reopen an investigation into the death of Danroy “DJ” Henry.

He was a 20-year-old student shot by a white police officer in 2010.

A letter seen by Radio 1 Newsbeat says, “the facts of this case reek of local conflict of interest, racial bias and even false testimony.”

The police say the officer had no choice but to shoot at the car because he feared for his life.

What happened to Danroy Henry?

There are two conflicting versions of what happened in Pleasantville, New York on the night DJ died.

It was homecoming – an annual celebration held by schools, colleges and churches in the US.

It usually involves a game of American football, DJ was on the Pace University team – where he was a student.

He went to a local bar with his friends to celebrate, a fight broke out and CCTV footage shows him leaving the bar.

The police were also called after the fight happened.

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Friends and family of DJ held a vigil to mark the first anniversary of his death in 2011

According to DJ’s friend – Brandon Cox they were sitting in the car waiting for their other friends to come out of the bar.

Brandon told CBS News, “a police officer knocked on the window and gave the motion to move the car forward, so that’s what they did.”

But as DJ pulled forward his friends say the police officer told him to stop.

It’s alleged that Officer Aaron Hess stepped in front of the car, ended up on the hood, and shot through the windshield.

The police say the officer had no choice but to shoot at the car because he feared for his life.

Witnesses say DJ was pulled out of the car and handcuffed on the pavement while he waited to be treated by paramedics.

Why do people want the case reopened?

The police officer involved in the case wasn’t charged after a grand jury in 2011 decided to clear him of any criminality and wrongdoing.

They tried to bring another criminal case against the officer in 2016, but that didn’t work.

DJ’s family tried to bring a separate investigation looking into a possible civil rights violation.

While giving evidence, Aaron Hess said he thought his “life was in danger when he made the split-second decision to shoot into the car.”

He insisted that race was not a factor and claimed he couldn’t see through the windshield.

In 2016, the Henry family accepted a settlement of $6m from the Village of Pleasantville and Aaron Hess.

The decision relieves the Village of Pleasantville and the officer from any further liability in the case.

The letter is signed by ten celebrities, including Rihanna, Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams and is addressed William Barr to the Attorney General in the US, which is the country’s top lawyer.

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William Barr, Attorney General in the US

It states, it wants the evidence of officer Ronald Beckley looked at.

Michael Sussman is the lawyer representing the family. He told CBS News, “officer Ronald Beckley arrived on the scene that night and fired his weapon – for the first time in his 30-year career – at officer Aaron Hess.”

Michael Sussman continues, “he sees a person, as he described it, in dark clothing, jumping on a vehicle, and he takes out his weapon, and he fires a shot because he sees the person jumping on the vehicle as the aggressor.”

The letter also wants the Justice Department to look at whether discrimination led to DJ’s killing.

It says, “deliver the justice that restores this young man’s name and reputation, while giving hope to other young black men who are just like him and desperate for change,”

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