Good afternoon. Here’s a look at opinion content published in The Journal News today, Wednesday, Feb. 16:
Danroy Henry: Editorial
We welcome news that the Justice Department will conduct its own probe into the shooting of Danroy Henry. A Westchester grand jury chose not to hand up an indictment in the case. We write:
… The Westchester panel heard from 85 witnesses, including police officers, emergency medical personnel, and 46 civilians, among them many Pace students. The shooting occurred amid a chaotic scene outside the bar on homecoming weekend. Pleasantville Officer Aaron Hess has said he fired on Henry to protect himself and others in the path of a vehicle driven by Henry; another officer, Ronald Beckley of the Mount Pleasant force, fired into the vehicle’s hood. Grand jurors reviewed more than 100 exhibits, including video recordings, diagrams and ballistics. Because the proceedings are secret, the facts or stories derived from the evidence have not been made public. Nothing disclosed so far, however, suggests that the citizens panel was anything less than diligent , or that it was guided by a Westchester District Attorney’s Office that was less than vigilant.
Nonetheless, it is proper that the U.S. Justice Department examine the grand jury record, and any other Henry evidence; fatal shootings by police are extraordinary events that properly command the public’s interest — and are wholly worthy of added scrutiny. The Henry family, which has questioned the grand jury’s findings and demanded a federal inquiry, will get their wish. …
Prisoners’ legal services: Commentary
David C. Leven offers a Community View on the potential closure of Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, a state service that may be eliminated next year. Leven advocates for its continuance.