Markey offers apology to family of unarmed Black teen amid criticism

Markey offers apology to family of unarmed Black teen amid criticism
© Stefani Reynolds

Massachusetts Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyRon Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin Black lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination MORE (D) apologized to the family of an unarmed Black teen killed 10 years ago after his father renewed the controversy around his death in a video posted to Twitter on Monday. 

"I have reached out to the Henry family to offer my sincerest apologies, and to pledge to them my complete support to take action on this case. I am fully at their disposal, and hope to work with them," Markey said in a statement, referring to the family of D.J. Henry, an unarmed, Black teenager who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2010 at Pace University in New York. Henry was a Massachusetts native. 

"I strongly support the Henry family's efforts to reopen the case of the murder of their beloved son DJ Henry. I cannot fathom the pain that they must be feeling watching news about all of the families who have had loved ones murdered by the police," Markey said. 

"The Henrys have survived something that no parent should ever have to experience – the loss of a child. I joined other members of the Massachusetts delegation in 2014 in calling on the Department of Justice to open a federal investigation into DJ Henry’s murder, and I am again calling on the Attorney General to do his job and offer justice to the Henry family and open this long-overdue investigation," he continued. 

Markey's comments come after Henry's father accused Markey of dismissing his family in the aftermath of their son's death. 
“My wife and I came to you 10 years ago as grieving parents asking for your help with our son’s murder,” Danroy Henry said in a video directed at Markey. “Not only did you not act in any way, but we felt like you were just dismissing us, using even the term ‘colored’ in the conversation.”
Markey called on the Justice Department and New York officials to reopen the investigation in a letter on Tuesday. 
"Already, the circumstances surrounding the shooting called into serious question the assertion that the use of force against DJ — especially fatal force — was at all warranted or justifiable," Markey wrote. "In light of these facts and principles, I strongly urge each of you to utilize your respective powers as law enforcement officials to re-open DJ’s case to ensure that justice is done for the Henry family.”

Henry's case received renewed attention last month after a number of celebrities, including Rihanna and Jay-Z called for the case to be reopened amid nationwide protests over police brutality. 
Markey is facing a primary challenge from Massachusetts Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedySupreme Court confounding its partisan critics Warren says she'll run for reelection to Senate Five centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote MORE III (D) on Sept. 1. Kennedy shared a video of Henry's parents last month to draw attention to the case. Henry's parents are supporting Kennedy in the primary.