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Examiner News featured Pace University’s Black Student Union in "Pace Retires DJ Henry’s Jersey 10 Years After His Death"

11/02/2020

Examiner News featured Pace University’s Black Student Union in "Pace Retires DJ Henry’s Jersey 10 Years After His Death"

A Pace University student who was shot and killed by a Pleasantville police officer 10 years ago had his football jersey number retired last week on what would have been his 31st birthday.

What was intended to be a social justice rally on the Pleasantville campus turned into a small gathering to celebrate the life of Pace student athlete Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr. last Thursday. Those who gathered honored Henry’s memory while urging the need to put an end to police brutality and eliminate systemic racism that they say resulted in Henry’s death.

“It saddens me that DJ’s Pace experience was cut short. Police brutality is still as prevalent today as it was 10 years ago,” said Mikayla Wray, vice president of Pace’s Black Student Union. “We will continue to fight this ongoing battle until justice is served for every innocent Black life taken.”

Wray pressed the importance of stepping up and speaking out in times of social injustice, Others noted incidents of disrespect that was displayed by police in the months following Henry’s death.

On Oct. 17, 2010, Henry, a Pace football player, was out with his friends at a restaurant and bar at the Thornwood Town Center when a fight between two men broke out that didn’t involve Henry. Henry was in the driver’s seat of a car that was parked in a fire lane when he was asked by police to move the vehicle. When he did, Officer Aaron Hess stepped in front of the moving car and wound up on the hood.

Hess fired four gunshots through the windshield, killing Henry and wounding a passenger. Henry was unarmed.

In the aftermath, Hess maintained he repeatedly shouted for the car to stop prior to firing off shots, with former Pleasantville Police Chief Anthony Chiarlitti supporting there was no racial bias in Henry’s killing. Advocates for Henry maintained that police reports were also released misrepresenting what happened that night. Witnesses have reportedly stated the shooting was aggressive and unnecessary.

Hess was never charged in Henry’s death, with a grand jury declining to bring charges against him in February 2011. That same year, the Pleasantville Police Benevolent Association named Hess Officer of the Year for his constant display of professionalism.

The case was later reviewed by federal prosecutors but never tried. Henry’s family eventually reached financial settlements with the Village of Pleasantville and Town of Mount Pleasant.

Read the full Examiner News article.

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WNBC-NY featured Pace University's Black Student Union in "Social Justice Rally Honoring DJ Henry"

10/30/2020

WNBC-NY featured Pace University's Black Student Union in "Social Justice Rally Honoring DJ Henry"

Pace University Black Student Union is expected to host a social justice rally on campus. In honor of a former student that was shot and killed by police. Danroy DJ Henry was 20 years old when he was killed in Pleasantville, New York, in 2010. His family received a settlement. The former officer who shot Henry was never criminally charged. Today's rally comes on what would have been his 31st birthday.

Watch the NBC news clip.

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News12 featured Pace's Black Student Union in "Pace University honors life of student killed by police in 2010"

10/30/2020

News12 featured Pace's Black Student Union in "Pace University honors life of student killed by police in 2010"

The Pace University community honored the life of a student who was killed by police 10 years ago.

Thursday would have been DJ Henry Jr.'s 31st birthday, and Pace University held a memorial to honor the life he would've lived.

It was part of the school's week of social justice.

Henry was a Pace football player who was shot and killed by a Pleasantville police officer on Oct 18, 2010 outside of a bar close to campus.

A grand jury declined to bring charges. Henry's family says justice was never served. They did reach financial settlements with the Village of Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant.

In recent months, members of the Pace community have protested and called on local and state officials to reopen the case in light of police brutality incidents nationwide.

For members of the school's Black Student Union, Thursday's memorial is about continuing that mission.

The school also retired Henry's No. 12 jersey.

The event was originally scheduled to be at the stadium, but bad weather forced it indoors. 

Watch the News12 clip.

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WABC-NY featured Black Student Union President Amari Perez in "Pace University Students Honor DJ Henry"

10/30/2020

WABC-NY featured Black Student Union President Amari Perez in "Pace University Students Honor DJ Henry"

PLEASANTVILLE, New York (WABC) -- A vigil was held for a college student and star athlete who was shot and killed by a cop Westchester County 10 years ago.

The location was changed because of the rain, and attendance was limited because of the pandemic, but nothing could lessen DJ Henry's significance to the Pace University community.

"DJ gives us a reason to fight, he reminds us of our purpose here on this campus," Black Student Union President Amari Perez said.

Henry was shot and killed 10 years and 12 days ago by a Pleasantville police officer.

He was moving his car away from a fight that had broken out in front of an off-campus bar.

The officer claimed Henry was speeding away and that he fired through the windshield when he was thrown onto the hood.

A Westchester County grand jury did not indict the officer.

"We want to do our part just to make sure DJ's name is never forgotten and make sure that DJ's story is heard, because it's 10 years later and we're still facing the same thing today," Pace University Quarterback Carlton Aiken said.

Henry was a member of the Pace football team. On Thursday, the university retired his number 12.

Henry's parents sent a videotaped message to the students.

"He loved playing football at Pace and he loved being a part of team, and so we feel like you guys are a part of that team now as we work together to create true change in our world," Henry's mother Angela Henry said.

The justice department declined filing civil rights charges, but there have been renewed calls for the case to be re-examined.

Watch the ABC news clip.

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CBS 2 NY featured Pace's Black Student Union in "Pace University Holds Birthday Memorial For DJ Henry, Black College Football Player Fatally Shot By Police In 2010"

10/30/2020

CBS 2 NY featured Pace's Black Student Union in "Pace University Holds Birthday Memorial For DJ Henry, Black College Football Player Fatally Shot By Police In 2010"

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Pace University held a memorial Thursday honoring Danroy Henry Jr., a student and football player who was killed by police 10 years ago.

The school’s Black Student Union retired Henry’s number 12 jersey as part of its first social justice rally.

DJ Henry was shot and killed in 2010 while out with friends in Westchester County.

He was sitting in his car when he was shot by a white officer who had responded to a disturbance at a nearby bar.

Passengers in the car say the officer ran out in front of them. The officer said he opened fire because he was in fear for his life.

The case went before a grand jury, but the officer was never charged.

A video message from DJ’s parents was played at the ceremony.

“He loved playing football at Pace and he loved being a part of a team, and so we feel like you guys are part of that team now as we work together to create true change in our world,” Angella Henry, DJ’s mother, said.

DJ Henry’s birthday was Thursday. He would have turned 31.

Watch the CBS news clip.

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