Jay-Z, other celebs ask feds to probe student’s 2010 killing

FILE - In this April 21, 2011, file photo, Thulani DeMarsay, right, aunt of Danroy "DJ" Henry Jr., who was shot and killed by a police officer, speaks as Henry's uncle Jamele Dozier, left, holds a photograph of Henry during a news conference in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood. Celebrities including Rihanna, Jay-Z and Charlize Theron have called for the U.S. Department of Justice in July 2020, to investigate the case of Henry, a black Pace University football player killed by a white police officer in New York after the team's homecoming game in October 2010. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
FILE - In this April 21, 2011, file photo, Thulani DeMarsay, right, aunt of Danroy "DJ" Henry Jr., who was shot and killed by a police officer, speaks as Henry's uncle Jamele Dozier, left, holds a photograph of Henry during a news conference in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood. Celebrities including Rihanna, Jay-Z and Charlize Theron have called for the U.S. Department of Justice in July 2020, to investigate the case of Henry, a black Pace University football player killed by a white police officer in New York after the team's homecoming game in October 2010. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Rihanna, Jay-Z, Charlize Theron and other celebrities are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the death of 20-year-old Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr., a Black football player at Pace University killed by a white police officer in New York nearly a decade ago.

In a letter sent this week to Attorney General William Barr, the entertainers say Henry, who was from Easton, Massachusetts, “lost his life for no good reason and with absolutely no good explanation.” The case remains an “unhealed wound” for Henry’s family and the people of New York, they wrote.

“The DOJ must truthfully determine whether a pattern and/or practice of discrimination played a role in the case of DJ Henry — and if it did — 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," they wrote.

Others who signed the letter are Pharrell Williams, Taraji P. Henson, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael K. Williams, Kerry Washington, Mary J. Blige and Gabrielle Union.

An email seeking comment was sent Friday to DOJ spokespeople.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York announced in 2015 that they would not bring civil rights charges, saying a thorough review of evidence did not show that Pleasantville officer Aaron Hess acted with deliberate and specific intent to break the law. The officer was previously cleared by a grand jury.

Hess shot Henry as Henry drove through a parking lot, away from a disturbance that spilled out of a bar in October 2010 in Mount Pleasant, a New York City suburb.

Hess has said Henry was trying to run him down and that he fired through the windshield to stop the driver.