Westchester DA Announces Conclusion To The Reviews Of The Fatal Police Shooting Of Danroy Henry, Jr. And Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.

Independent reviews by special prosecutors did not identify a legal basis to convene new grand juries; District Attorney makes findings, proposes reforms and legislation

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced today that the independent reviews of the police-involved shooting deaths of Danroy “DJ”  Henry, Jr. and Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. identified no new evidence to convene new grand juries. In addition to the conclusion by special prosecutors, the District Attorney is releasing,  within the limits of grand jury secrecy laws, her findings and recommendations, which can be found below.

Wcdao Chamberlain Report 72623 by BLACK WESTCHESTER MAGAZINE on Scribd

Wcdao Henry Report 72623 by BLACK WESTCHESTER MAGAZINE on Scribd

“The independent reviews have concluded that there is no legal basis to resubmit charges to a new grand jury. The review of the circumstances and aftermath of the shooting deaths of DJ Henry and Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. by me and members of my executive team did, however, identify areas where real analysis and reform are desperately needed,” DA Rocah shared with Black Westchester. “We are sharing our findings and recommendations in the hopes that we can improve the process in police-involved shooting cases to be more transparent, fair, and compassionate to grieving families. When those of us in the criminal justice system acknowledge where we can do better, increased transparency leads to more faith and trust in the system. More critically, it allows for prosecutors and law enforcement alike to  take steps to ensure that tragedies like these are not repeated.” 

Announced in 2021, DA Rocah appointed John Gleeson, a retired U.S. District Court judge,  and Douglas Zolkind, a former federal prosecutor, both partners at the law firm Debevoise &  Plimpton LLP, to conduct an independent review. Along with several associates serving pro bono as Special Assistant District Attorneys, the Debevoise team evaluated whether legal grounds existed to resubmit charges to new grand juries related to the deaths of Henry, a  20-year-old Pace University sophomore shot by a Pleasantville police officer in October 2010 outside a Mount Pleasant bar, and Chamberlain, a 68-year-old former Marine who was shot by White Plains police in his home in November 2011.  

Shortly after the announcement, Black Westchester spoke to Danroy Henry Sr., father of Danroy ‘DJ’ Henry, and Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., son of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., to discuss the reopening of the investigations, on June 27, 2021.

The District Attorney and members of her executive team—including Chief Assistant District  Attorney Amy Finzi, Counsel to the District Attorney Tarek Rahman, and Deputy Chief Criminal  Investigator Wade Hardy—separately reviewed publicly available information, including materials related to civil proceedings for each case, and identified areas of needed reform and change.

We reached out to Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., to discuss the conclusion to the review.

“This review revealed to me the use of the law regarding grand jury proceedings and how it is protecting the officers from accountability for almost 12 years my family and I have been wondering what charges did the Westchester County district attorney Janet DiFiore instruct the grand jury to consider?” Chamberlain Jr. shared with BW. “I believe that if the grand jury minutes are unsealed it will prove that there was a biased view of this case that favored law enforcement. My family and I would like to have the complete review from Debevoise and not the watered-down version, And also the unsealing of the grand jury minutes.”

The District Attorney’s recommendations include improvements for best practices for the Westchester DA’s Office in police-involved shootings where it maintains jurisdiction, and legislative proposals for enhanced law enforcement training,  communication, and mental health crisis intervention. 

“I want to thank John Gleeson, Douglas Zolkind, and the team at Debevoise for the time and dedication they committed to completing their careful and sensitive reviews, which answered an important question,” DA Rocah added. “Most importantly, I thank the Henry  and Chamberlain families for their incredible patience, and for entrusting me to answer their  requests for impartial and independent reviews that these matters deserved.”

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