NEW YORK (CBS) The family of Pace University football player Danroy Henry Jr., who was fatally shot by police, is asking the Obama administration to conduct its own investigation, saying they have no faith in the police probe, especially after Friday's leak of blood alcohol tests suggesting Henry was intoxicated when he was shot.
New York attorney Michael Sussman highlighted the incompetency of local authorities in the suburban New York case by citing the anonymous release of confidential tests before the family knew the results, reports The Boston Globe.
Henry, a 20-year-old junior from Easton, Mass., was fatally shot early Oct. 17 after police were called to a disturbance at a bar in Thornwood, N.Y. According to the tests released last week, Henry's blood alcohol content was 0.13 percent when he was driving a car toward police, but Sussman believes the information was made public to distract media attention from police actions, says the Boston newspaper.
In a letter sent to US Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to get involved, Sussman wrote that it has "become painfully clear that the investigation is fatally flawed and that an independent investigation is required to insure that the truth about what happened is determined and revealed."
"Understanding what precisely happened is obviously critical to a determination of liability, if any, for his death," the letter states. "Conflicting stories have emerged about these circumstances and it is vital that the public have confidence in the integrity of any investigation and prosecution."
Although it's not clear if the shooting may have been racially motivated, Sussman is soliciting the help of the Dept. of Justice's civil right division since Henry, as well as the other two occupants of the vehicle are minorities, and the two officers who fired their weapons are white.
According to The Boston Globe, a spokeswoman for the Dept. of Justice would only say her office is monitoring the local investigation, led by authorities in the township of Mount Pleasant, N.Y., where the shooting occurred.