D.J. Henry’s Boston Memorial Service Gets Broad Media Attention

ASSOCIATED PRESS AND A MEDIA MULTITUDE: “Hundreds mourn athlete shot by police.” Head Coach Chris Dapolito was the second person quoted in the Associated Press story about the inspiring memorial service for DJ Henry in Boston attended by 175 Pace students, faculty and staff members and an estimated crowd of 2000. ”There is no cure for how you feel, but there is a treatment for dealing with it. … You must find a way to pick up where D.J. left off and promise to do all that he would have done with his life,” Dapolito said. Read more.

Danroy Henry's parents, Danroy Sr. and Angella Henry, during Friday's memorial service. AP Photo/ STEPHAN SAVOIA

The memorial service was covered by a media multitude including three Boston TV channels, New York stations WCBS-TV, WPIX-TV, along with print and web media such as The Associated Press, The Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Brockton Enterprise, Tacoma (WA) News Tribune, The Journal News, Enterprisenews.com, the FanHouse  website (with observations about the football team), Sports Channel News, and The Chappaqua Patch.

Head Coach Chris Dapolito was the second person quoted in the Associated Press story (and the first in the NY Daily News story) about the inspiring service at a convention center in Boston, which was  attended by 175 Pace students, faculty and staff members and an estimated crowd of 2,000.

”There is no cure for how you feel, but there is a treatment for dealing with it. … You must find a way to pick up where D.J. left off and promise to do all that he would have done with his life,” Dapolito said.

For video coverage of the memorial, click here.

For a video tribute to D.J. on thebostonchannel.com, click here.

For the full AP article, read below or click here.

Hundreds in Mass. mourn athlete shot by NY police

By JAY LINDSAY
Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — He was a little boy beaming under Mickey Mouse ears. He was a driven college football player nicknamed Smooth and had a wrist tattoo that read “Family First.” He was an incredibly slow eater.

Photos, family and friends portrayed different sides of Danroy “D.J” Henry at his memorial service Friday in Boston, less than two weeks after he was shot to death in his car by police in suburban New York.

Conflicting stories and confusion surround his death, but no one mourned the 20-year-old Henry as a victim Friday.

“We are gathered to celebrate the life of D.J. Henry. Let me say it again, we are here to celebrate his life,” pastor Gideon A. Thompson of Jubilee Christian Church said to applause on what would have been Henry’s 21st birthday.

An estimated 2,000 people attended the service in a ballroom at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, including childhood friends, college teammates and classmates at Pace University and U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

Speakers told of Henry’s faith and devotion to others and asked the audience to honor him by how they live.

“There is no cure for how you feel, but there is a treatment for dealing with it. … You must find a way to pick up where D.J. left off and promise to do all that he would have done with his life,” said Pace University coach Chris Dapolito.

Henry, of Easton, was shot by police who were responding to a disturbance that spilled outside a Thornwood, N.Y. bar on Oct. 17.

Police have said an officer knocked on the window of a car Henry was driving, and he drove away and hit two officers. But passengers said Henry was trying to move his car out of the fire lane and wasn’t a threat to police.

A law enforcement official said Henry’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit to drive at the time. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the autopsy report hadn’t been released.

The attorney for Henry’s family questioned that and is conducting separate blood tests.

Earlier Friday, the lawyer, Michael Sussman, said a police officer was not in harm’s way when he fired the first shot at Henry. Sussman said a ballistics expert he hired determined the same officer fired at least three shots, one into the hood and two into the windshield.

Sussman said the angle of the shot into the hood indicates it was fired from the side and that it would have come first since the officer was on top of the hood when he fired twice into the windshield.

Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Westchester County District Attorney’s office, declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing.

At the memorial, some speakers referred to the cloud around Henry’s death, with Thompson calling Henry a “young man that has been snatched away from us, his life snuffed out like a candle.” Henry’s uncle Kevin Murphy sang in lyrics he wrote for Henry: “What makes men do the evil that they do? How the hell did they disrespect you?”

His mother, Angella Henry, told the audience, “As we continue to fight for the truth, we will continue to need your love and support.”

But most of the service focused on Henry’s personality and life up until the night of the shooting.

Childhood pictures of Henry – at the beach, showing off a Burger King crown, buried in bubbles in a tub – flashed on a screen as mourners walked in.

His friend Desmond Hinds, who was in the car the night of the shooting, recalled hours sitting with Henry as he ate his meals with excruciating slowness. “He wanted to digest his food, that’s what he said,” Hinds said.

His younger sister, Amber, shared an essay she’d written in junior high about how her oldest brother was her hero. His younger brother, Kyle, talked about his brother’s closet full of stylish shoes and how he’d keep Kyle looking good, dropping piles of clothes on the floor when he visited and announcing, “Hand-me-downs!”

“I just smiled because I knew it was coming,” Kyle said.

Speaking at a lectern draped with a cloth with Henry’s Pace football number, 12, his father, Dan Henry, talked about how he’d worn the number during his days playing basketball, and his son adopted it after seeing a picture of him wearing it. It became a symbol of how important family was to his son, he said.

His father said the family still feels his presence.

“That’s what sustains us now,” he said.

Looking out at the large crowd, he added, “Even though he didn’t want to have a big 21st birthday, he’s going to.”

Associated Press writer Jim Fitzgerald in Valhalla, N.Y., contributed to this report.

(This version CORRECTS the name of the slain athlete’s uncle to Kevin Murphy, not Dan Murphy.)

NEWS RELEASE: Live Web Coverage of DJ Henry Pre-Game Tribute Announced by Pace University, University of New Haven

Live web-stream video and radio coverage is available this afternoon of the home football game against University of New Haven beginning with a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace” and moment of silence honoring Danroy (“DJ”) Henry. The simple pre-game ceremony was scheduled before the game where Henry’s Pace University teammates resume their season after his death. (Left: Both sides of the Pace logo near the end posts on the football field have a paw print painted with the number 12 inside in honor of DJ.)

PLEASANTVILLE, NY, October 30, 2010 – Live web-stream video and radio coverage is available this afternoon of the home football game against University of New Haven beginning with a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace” and moment of silence honoring Danroy (“DJ”) Henry. The simple pre-game ceremony was scheduled before the game where Henry’s Pace University teammates resume their season after his death. Last Saturday’s game was canceled.

Video is at mms://realserv.pace.edu/live.

The broadcast starts 30 minutes before the 12:45 pre-game ceremony. Kickoff at 1 pm. Broadcasts are free but viewers may encounter buffering issues due to heavy traffic.

Live radio coverage is provided by station WNHU-FM, 88.7, of the University of New Haven, streamed at http://www.wnhu.net/?dest=home.

Live statistics will be available at http://www.pacesettersathletics.com/landing/081509_fball_broadcast.

Team members are wearing black wristbands with Henry’s number, 12, woven into the fabric. To symbolize the loss of Henry its first defensive play will be executed with one player missing. The three remaining games of the season are dedicated to Henry.

Coach Chris Dapolito and several players will hold a post-game news conference about the game.

Contacts

John Tagliaferri, Pace Sports Information, cell 914-424-6126, jtagliaferri@pace.edu

Cara Cea, Pace Public Information, cell 914-906-9980, ccea@pace.edu

About Pace Athletics

Pace University has played football since 1978. Pace sponsors 19 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division II. The Setters compete primarily as a member of the Northeast-10 Conference. Players are drawn by Pace’s well-rounded program, career-oriented academics, and location in the New York metropolitan area. The University fields teams on its Pleasantville Campus in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, swimming, diving, tennis, track and field, equestrian, soccer and volleyball.

About Pace University

For 103 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

Visit Pace at Pace.edu | Facebook | Twitter | Flickr | YouTube; follow Pace students on Twitter:  NYC | PLV

NEWS ADVISORY: Pace Football Team Back on Field Saturday to Face University of New Haven

The Pace University football team returns to the field to face the University of New Haven this Saturday, October 30 at 1:00pm in its first game since the death of teammate Danroy “DJ” Henry. (Left: DJ surrounded by teammates).

Tribute planned for football star Danroy “DJ” Henry

Pace sending three buses to memorial service in Boston

Note: A news conference with players and coach will be held after the game.

PLEASANTVILLE, NY, October 28, 2010 – The Pace University football team returns to the field to face the University of New Haven this Saturday, October 30 at 1:00pm in its first game since the death of teammate Danroy “DJ” Henry. Last Saturday’s game against Bentley was canceled in the wake of the tragedy.

The 1 pm kickoff will be preceded by a brief pre-game tribute ceremony at 12:45.

The home game will take place on Pace University’s Pleasantville campus football field, 861 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville, NY. News trucks should enter campus via entrance 3.

Visuals

In tribute to Henry, a bagpiper will usher the teams onto the field. After the national anthem there will be a moment of silence. The piper will then move to the center of the field and play “Amazing Grace.”

Henry was a starting defensive back, number 12. For the first defensive play of the game, Pace will symbolically play without him, fielding a defense squad of only 10 players. DJ is listed in the program as a starter. The team will be wearing black wristbands with a yellow embroidered number 12. Black number 12 decals for team helmets have been ordered.

A news conference is planned after the game in the Goldstein Health and Fitness Center with head football coach Chris Dapolito and a number of Pace football players.

All three remaining games of the 2010 season will be dedicated to DJ – this weekend, November 6 against American International University in Springfield, MA, and November 13, a home game against Merrimack College.

“The hardest game ever”

Much support for the team is expected from the Pace University community. A Facebook page started by students says: “In memory of DJ Henry #12, please come together as a community and support the football team in one of the hardest games they probably will ever have to play. Please wear Pace gear and cheer your hardest for DJ and the team.”

On the Facebook page alone, by Thursday at 3:00pm, nearly 500 people indicated they will attend. The bleachers and area surrounding the field accommodate roughly 1,200 and are expected to be full.

In a letter to the Pace community, President Stephen J. Friedman said he had met with the football team and many students and been impressed at how “we have come together as a community in these difficult times. We are a community that cares, a community that is there for one another in time of need.”

Memorial in Boston

Pace will send three buses –with close to 170 students, faculty members and staffers – to the memorial for Henry at the Boston Civic and Exhibition Center tomorrow, October 29.

Media ground rules

At the post-game press conference the participants will not take questions about the incident in which Henry died, pending litigation, or the ongoing investigation.

All media will be directed to park in the faculty/staff parking lot behind Choate (big pink house across from the Goldstein Health and Fitness Center) near the press box. Members of the media will check in at the ticket gate and be given passes. All access will be at the gate adjacent to the Goldstein Health and Fitness Center.

Video cameras will have the option to shoot from two locations, one on the hill next to the press box and one on the field opposite the sideline. No video cameras will be allowed access on the ground level (stands side) of the field. Reporters and still photographers will have the same access as fans.

Media admission by press pass. Requests for press credentials should be directed to John Tagliaferri, Sports Information Director, (914) 773-3888, (914) 424-6126, jtagliaferri@pace.edu. Passes may be picked up on game day at entrance gates.

Timeline

Pre-Game – Team warm-ups complete, teams leave the field

12.45 p.m. – Announce starters for New Haven

12:50 p.m. – Pace team led onto field by bagpiper

12:53 p.m. – Pace team announced

12:55 p.m. – National Anthem sung by Pace sophomore Samantha DeRosa

12:58 p.m. – Moment of silence

12.59 p.m. – Bagpiper plays “Amazing Grace”

1:03 p.m. – Kick-off

Photos, rosters and stats

Pace photographs will be available after the game free of charge to media upon request from Dave Hahn of CSI Photo, (914) 461-3506, and at http://csiphoto.zenfolio.com.  Programs with rosters and statistics will be available before the game. A complete NCAA box score will be available after the conclusion of the game as a handout or online at www.pacesettersathletics.com.

About Pace athletics

Pace University sponsors 19 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division II. The Setters compete primarily as a member of the Northeast-10 Conference.

Contacts
John Tagliaferri, Sports Information Director, (914) 773-3888 (Office), (914) 424-6126 (Cell)
jtagliaferri@pace.edu

Cara Cea, Manager of Media Relations, (914) 773-3312 (Office), (914) 906-9680 (Cell), ccea@pace.edu

DJ in action

The Journal News: Fatal Police Shooting Raises Many Questions

The tragic death of Danroy Henry, a Pace University student who was shot to death Oct. 17 in a fusillade of police bullets in a mall parking lot in Thornwood, will likely be added to the ignominious list of other recent police shooting deaths – Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and Christopher Ridley. (Left: Pace Law Professor Bennett L. Gershman).

The following op-ed by Pace Law professor Bennett Gershman appeared in The Journal News in print and online on October 24, 2010.

The tragic death of Danroy Henry, a Pace University student who was shot to death Oct. 17 in a fusillade of police bullets in a mall parking lot in Thornwood, will likely be added to the ignominious list of other recent police shooting deaths – Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and Christopher Ridley. Several law enforcement agencies are investigating, and a grand jury will hear evidence. From early news accounts, it appears that two different narratives are emerging – a police narrative describing the killing as justified, and a narrative from witnesses that the killing was unjustified and a homicide. In trying to determine what actually happened and whether the police officers should be held accountable criminally, several questions need to be asked.

When to shoot

Why did the police believe that the use of deadly force was necessary? New York law allows the police to use deadly force against another person in two situations: first, when the officer reasonably believes that the person is committing one of several highly dangerous felonies such as murder, kidnapping, arson and rape; and second, when the officer reasonably believes that he or another person faces imminent death. Did the two officers who fired shots through the windshield into the car driven by Mr. Henry and containing two other passengers reasonably believe that the occupants were engaged in the commission of a dangerous felony? Or, did the police reasonably fear that Mr. Henry or his passengers posed an imminent and life-threatening risk to the police?

Did the police fear that Mr. Henry or his companions were armed with a gun, which may have contributed to the belief that the use of deadly force was necessary? For example, in the Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and Christopher Ridley killings, the police claimed that they believed that the person they shot was armed with a gun, and this was a significant factor in their justification for the shooting. Indeed, in the Bell shooting, which bore some striking parallels to the shooting of Mr. Henry, when the police approached Bell and identified themselves, Bell accelerated his car and hit one of the officers, and then hit an unmarked police van. However, it was not until one of the officers thought he saw one of the passengers reach for a gun and yelled “gun” that the police then opened fire on the car. Related (2 of 2)Was race a factor?

How fast was the car going? Did the police reasonably believe that the car was a lethal weapon that under the circumstances presented an imminent danger to their lives, and that the police had to shoot into the car and kill the driver to prevent them from being killed? It would be important in this connection to ascertain what type of police training exists with respect to the circumstances that authorize police to shoot into a car containing several occupants. Given the fact that police-motorist encounters happen many thousands of times a day, it would be important to know when the police are allowed to use deadly force, especially if the motorist disobeys a police command to stop. Could the police simply disable the car? Or for that matter, simply record the license number, and if the driver flees the scene, arrest him later? Indeed, the Supreme Court has told us in the case of Tennessee v. Garner that it is unlawful for the police to kill an unarmed felon who is fleeing from a burglary. Did the presence of a very large and apparently unruly crowd outside the bar contribute to the police belief that deadly force was needed to quell what may have seemed like a potentially incendiary and violent situation? Were the police being attacked by the crowd? Did Mr. Henry disobey a police order, and did that contribute to the shooting? Was Mr. Henry drunk? And, finally, regrettably, the question needs to be asked, as it has been asked in every one of the forgoing police shootings – was race a factor? It is hoped that an impartial and objective investigation into the facts of this terrible event will bring answers to these questions. |The writer, a former state prosecutor, is one of the original faculty members at Pace Law School. He is a regular contributor on justice issues in the Lower Hudson Valley.

NEWS ADVISORY: Pace University Continues Healing from Loss of Danroy (“DJ”) Henry

Over the weekend, students at Pace University’s Pleasantville Campus continued to find ways of commemorating the loss of football defenseman Danroy (“DJ”) Henry. (Football team spells DJ at a private memorial with the Henry family on Saturday.)

PLEASANTVILLE, NY, October 24 – Over the weekend, students at Pace University’s Pleasantville Campus continued to find ways of commemorating the loss of football defenseman Danroy (“DJ”) Henry. All were closed to media.

·         Though the football game against Bentley University was cancelled, the swimming, women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball teams held moments of silence before their competitions. The volleyball and soccer teams wore black wristbands with Henry’s number, “12” woven into them. (Women’s swimming won 126-81 against Manhattan College, men’s swimming lost against Manhattan 121-102, volleyball won 3-1 against Southern Connecticut State University; soccer lost to the University of Massachusetts/Lowell 3-0).

·         The football team met on the field at noon, walking arm-in-arm in groups of three and four and formed a semicircle on the 12-yard line (again, Henry’s number), facing an easel with a floral wreath surrounding a panel of photographs of Henry. Behind them, approximately 70 parents of team members formed a second semicircle. Each team member then walked up near the easel and said a few words about Henry. Afterwards the group went to the field house for food provided by the parents. Said Athletic Director Joseph O’Donnell, “we could have fed an army.”

·         Meanwhile, some 225 Pace students fanned out on and off campus to perform previously planned community service projects. They ranged from helping paint a public school in the Bronx to clearing out 80 planters in a Pleasantville park to helping create a replica of a medicinal garden at St. Peter’s in Rome at the nearby Stone Barns sustainable agriculture complex.

NEWS RELEASE: Pace University Cancels Football Game with Bentley, to Resume Season October 30 vs. New Haven

The football game between Pace University and Bentley University scheduled for this Saturday has been canceled. The Pace season will resume next Saturday.

PLEASANTVILLE, NY, October 20, 2010 – The football game between Pace University and Bentley University scheduled for this Saturday has been canceled. The Pace season will resume next Saturday.

In the wake of the death of defenseman Danroy Henry, Joseph O’Donnell, Pace’s Director of Athletics, said: “After consultation with Head Football Coach Chris Dapolito and his staff, the Pace University Athletic Department has determined that it is not appropriate for our football student athletes to play Saturday’s game. We will resume our regular schedule on October 30, 2010 at home against the University of New Haven.”

View summary of extensive media coverage on the death of Pace football star Danroy “DJ” Henry here.

Contacts:

Christopher T. Cory, Pace media relations, 212-346-1117, cell 917-608-8164, ccory@pace.edu

John Tagliaferri, Pace Sports Information Director, 914-773-3888, cell 914-424-6126, jtagliaferri@pace.edu

Multiple media note increasing county, state involvement in investigation of death of Pace football player Danroy “DJ” Henry

On the second day of a blizzard of media coverage, many media noted the addition of New York State police and the Westchester County DA to the team investigating the shooting of Pace defense player Danroy (“DJ”) Henry (left).

DJ
Pace football star DJ Henry

By the second day of a blizzard of media coverage, many media noted the addition of New York State police and the Westchester County DA to the team investigating the shooting of Pace defense player Danroy (“DJ”) Henry.

The story of DJ Henry’s death and subsequent investigation has been reported in over 2,400 media articles, TV and radio segments, blog, web, Twitter and YouTube posts. Most media stories mention conflicting accounts and the ongoing investigation. Many also quote head football coach Chris Dapolito and the football captains from the Pace press conference.  The story has been covered by nearly all major media outlets including:

National – Good Morning America, Associated Press, USA Today, ESPN, CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and affiliates of  the networks in nearly all major media markets and newspapers in cities all over the country.

New York Metro Area – Today in New York, WABC TV, WNBC TV, WCBS TV and radio, WPIX and Fox 5.

Candlelight vigil in DJ's memory brings close to 700 Pace students

Local Westchester and New York City – The Journal News (comprehensive coverage that includes several articles, photos and videos of the shooting, investigation, vigil and police and Pace press conferences), News 12, Patch.com, The Pleasantville Examiner, Daily News, and New York Post.

Local Massachusetts – CBS Boston affiliate WBZ TV and radio, Boston Herald, Boston Globe, ABC Boston Channel.

DA
Westchester County DA Janet Difiore

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore was quoted in an Associated Press article, saying that her investigation would get to the bottom of what happened.

Additional media coverage is expected with funeral plans as well as the ongoing investigation.

Photos of DJ and the vigil and video of the vigil and press conference can be accessed at www.pace.edu/pacemedia. A letter from Pace President Stephen J. Friedman to the Pace community regarding the tragedy can be read here.

DJ Henry on the fieldDJ Henry