Cop shooting of African american athlete divides community
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Some students said police used stun guns on others in the vicinity. Coach Dapolito said he rushed to the scene after getting a call from a frantic player ("I could hear all the noises in the background,'' he said) and discovered "40-something cop cars'' there.
"There were a lot of things going on in different places of a large parking lot,'' Dapolito said. "We had clusters of players all over as well as other students and other kids. The police obviously wanted to keep people out. I explained who I was. I was worried about getting my players back to a safe place.''
Another disputed detail involves Officer Aaron Hess, the Pleasantville officer who fired his gun toward Henry's car. Despite reports that Henry was killed by Hess' bullets, the Chief said this is not certain.
"Officer Hess and at least one Mt. Pleasant police officer fired shots,'' Chief Chiarlitti said. "I ask that you wait to see what the official report concludes before making any assumptions.''
Chiarlitti said Hess served as a Marine and with the New York City Police department before joining the Pleasantville force more than 10 years ago.
The other shooter has been identified as Officer Ronald Beckley of Mt. Pleasant. Beckley has hired Andrew Quinn, a lawyer who has successfully defended police officers against charges in a beating death and other civil rights claims.
Hess suffered "very serious injuries'' when hit by Henry's car, the chief said. Matthew Listwan, president of the Pleasantville police union, said in a written statement last week that Hess needed surgery for a knee injury.
Listwan said Hess fired from the hood of Henry's car because he feared for his life after Henry refused orders to stop the car.
Sussman said this week that the five bullets were shot into the car from two different guns. Three bullets pierced the windshield, he said.
Amateur video available on the Internet taken in the immediate aftermath shows officers with guns drawn and a woman attempting to resuscitate Henry with chest compressions amid shouts and screams from those nearby. Sussman said surveillance cameras from nearby stores might reveal more details.
Outside the restaurant this week, a sidewalk shrine to Henry at the spot of his death has been maintained with bouquets of fresh flowers amid candles, a photograph of his face and two football balloons. One balloon was inflated, the other deflated. A handmade sign said "Rest in peace.''
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