Search for the truth

October 22, 2010 1:49:20 PM PDT
The old saw about truth being the first casualty of war - can also sometimes apply to melees that end with a police shooting.

The truth in this case remains - we don't know exactly what happened last weekend outside a popular college hangout (a restaurant/bar) in Westchester County.

What we know for sure is that Danroy Henry, a Pace University football player, is dead, and that one of the cops who fired shots did so from the hood of Henry's car (we don't know if his gun was pulled before or after he was on the hood) and that he required more than four hours of surgery to repair his knee.

There is still so much we don't know. And to pronounce a verdict one way or the other is simply irresponsible, and, at least at this point, seems to ignore the very real possibility that many of the people involved may have behaved badly and used poor judgment.

But late this afternoon - another piece of evidence. Sources tell Eyewitness News that Mr. Henry's autopsy shows that his blood alcohol level was 0.13 - far above the legal limit of 0.08.

What's disturbing about this - other than a 20 year old being drunk and behind the wheel - is that this flies in the face of the insistence of some of the students at the scene that told us Henry was the "designated driver" and so couldn't have been drinking. We were also told he hadn't been inside the restaurant/bar.

That the cops in this case are white and the victims are black puts the issue of race out there -- whether we like it or not, whether it's deserved or not. And so it's not surprising that some African American leaders hit the microphones today - before the blood-alcohol news came out - blasting police for the death of a young, promising, talented black student.

Meanwhile, police are also digging in - they claim it was a justified shoot, that Mr. Henry was using his car as a weapon.

There are law enforcement peeps who think news coverage has been slanted; there are peeps on the other side who think news coverage has been slanted towards the cops. I suspect we're doing our job when this happens; we are, as we should be, playing it down the middle, reporting and digging and waiting for the investigations to gather evidence.

And Mr. Henry's intoxication - while certainly an important piece of the puzzle - will not affect the investigation into whether proper force, and within proper police guidelines, was used.

We'll have the latest on the deadly police shooting - and this very real tragedy - tonight at 11.

By the way, and as a side note to all this, we broke this story on our website, which is another reason we suggest you sign up for our breaking news alerts, by CLICKING HERE.

Also at 11, the Yankees are in Texas, down 3 games to 2 in their attempt to win the American League Pennant, which is to say if they lose, their season is over. Scott Clark and Rob Powers (who's with the team in Arlington) lead our coverage tonight.

And Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side tonight offer the five most important personal bits of information NOT to leave on your Facebook page - to keep yourself safe.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa (in for Liz Cho) and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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