NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Department of Justice will investigate possible civil rights violations by police who fatally shot a Pace University football player during a late night bar fight, authorities said on Tuesday.
The federal probe comes after a grand jury in Westchester County on Monday decided not to file charges against Pleasantville Officer Aaron Hess and Mount Pleasant Officer Ronald Beckley.
Danroy Henry Jr., 20, was shot by the two officers after a rowdy crowd of mostly college students from Pace were removed from a bar in Mount Pleasant, New York, on October 17, prosecutors said.
The shooting took place outside the parking lot of the bar which is roughly 35 miles north of New York City.
Hess and Beckley both fired shots into Henry's car as the athlete was trying to drive away from the crowd that night.
"After due deliberation on the evidence presented in this matter, the grand jury found that there was no reasonable cause to vote an indictment," Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said.
The Department of Justice will review the case to see whether the officers violated civil rights laws regarding official misconduct, said spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa. The officers are white, and the victim black.
"Now that the local investigation has concluded and consistent with department policy, we will examine all of the available evidence to determine whether there are any prosecutable federal civil rights violations," she said.
Henry family attorney Michael Sussman said he was pleased federal authorities will investigate, saying he questioned the impartiality of local prosecutors in light of their close ties with local police.
"We hope the Justice Department's investigation is a complete one," he said. "We think they are more divorced from the situation and will bring a greater level of integrity."
Police in Mount Pleasant and Pleasantville did not return immediate requests for comment.
(Reporting by Aman Ali; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)