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Westchester DA Appoints Former Federal Judge To Review Decade-Old Fatal Police Shootings

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The families of Danroy “DJ” Henry and Kenneth Chamberlain told CBS2’s Tony Aiello it’s a step towards justice, and accountability.

Video Transcript

- Westchester County District Attorney has ordered an independent review into two fatal police shootings of Black men.

- Now their families say, it is a step towards justice and accountability. "CBS 2's" Tony Aiello has the story.

TONY AIELLO: 2010, Pace University football player DJ Henry shot dead by Pleasantville cop Aaron Hess, who claimed Henry's car struck him and he feared for his life. 2011, ex-marine Kenneth Chamberlain senior killed by White Plains officer Anthony Carelli, who said Chamberlain had a knife and posed a threat.

Both cops cleared by Westchester County grand juries. Now new DA Mimi Rocah will review the charging decisions, appointing former federal Judge John Gleason to lead the team revisiting the cases.

MAYO MARTLETT: Whether there was possible criminal liability that was not fully explored, to ensure that there is transparency and accountability.

DANROY HENRY: We're hopeful today that that review will yield a more just outcome for our son and for Mr. Chamberlain.

TONY AIELLO: The families long have questioned whether the grand juries were led towards rejecting charges against the officers.

KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN: Most of these prosecutors read from the same playbook, and time and time again, we've heard that after the investigations, there is no indictment of these police officers.

TONY AIELLO: Both the Henry and the Chamberlain grand juries were overseen by former Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore. She is now the top judicial official in all of New York state. A spokesperson for Chief Judge DiFiore told me, "The current DA is entitled to review any case," and pointed out two US attorneys DA Rocha previously worked with quote, "also declined to file any charges."

RUDOLPH MCLAUGHLIN: I'm not going to criticize Janet DiFiore today. She did what she did at the time with the information she had available to her.

TONY AIELLO: The lawyers say civil litigation has uncovered additional information, and they'll share everything with the team now reviewing the cases. Tony Aiello. "CBS 2 News."

- And the district attorney says while starting a review, she is not prejudging the outcome and further actions beyond the review will only happen if supported by the facts and the law.