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VIDEO: Rihanna, JAY-Z, Mary J. Blige Among Celebs Asking DOJ to Reexamine Danroy ‘DJ’ Henry Case

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Danroy “DJ” Henry

*Pharrell, Rihanna, JAY-Z and Mary J. Blige are among a group of celebrities seeking justice for Danroy “DJ” Henry, a Black student at Pace University who was fatally shot by a white police officer in 2010.

The group sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr asking the Department of Justice to reevaluate whether discrimination played a role in Henry’s death, and if so, to “deliver the justice that restores this young man’s reputation, while giving hope to other young Black men who are just like him and desperate for change.”

On Oct. 17, 2010, police were called to a fight outside a Westchester County sports bar where Henry, a 20-year-old college football player, was celebrating with his teammates. News outlets reported that Henry was unarmed and in his car when officer Aaron Hess approached him. At that point, Hess claimed that Henry sped towards the officer in his car, at which point Hess shot Henry.

A civil lawsuit filed against Hess and another officer alleges Hess and another officer left Henry on the ground to bleed to death. A grand jury declined to indict Hess in 2011, and in 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said it would not bring federal charges against the officer.

“This agonizing case remains an unhealed wound for the Henry family of the people of New York,” reads the letter, which was also signed by Charlize Theron, Taraji Henson, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Williams, Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union. “DJ, a young Black youth with a bright future ahead of him, was killed for no apparent reason inside his own vehicle.”

“The facts of the case reek of local conflict of interest, racial bias and even false testimony,” it continues. “But like so many other unarmed and innocent young, black men who find themselves guilty of being at the wrong time, DJ, too, lost his life for no good reason and with absolutely no good explanation — to this very day. Justice, it appears, has been denied.”

Their call for justice echoes nationwide protests over police misconduct and racial inequality, which erupted anew in May after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police, following the similar tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all too many other Black Americans.

Below, the TV program “48 hours” chronicled the effort by Hess’s family to clear their son’s name.

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Congresswoman-Elect Cori Bush Says She Was Mistaken for Breonna Taylor at Congressional Freshmen Orientation (Watch)

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Congresswoman-Elect Cori Bush on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

*Rocking a beautiful Black Lives Matter Christmas “ugly sweater,” Congresswoman-Elect Cori Bush blessed the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday and talked about everything from her first priority after taking office, to going thrift shopping with her soon-to-be Congressional colleagues Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley – both members of “The Squad,” which will officially welcome the Missouri congresswoman into its progressive bosom in January.

Bush told Cobert that “COVID-19 relief” will be her first order of business after being sworn in. “It has hit my district in St. Louis … along with our state. We don’t have a mask mandate.”

Bush also talked about being mistaken for Breonna Taylor at her congressional freshmen orientation by fellow House members, and being driven to run for Congress to make sure America understands what Black people in the community are going through everyday.

Watch her interview with Colbert below.

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Meet Noah Harris, First Black Man Elected Harvard Student Body President (Watch)

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Noah Harris on MSNBC’s “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnel” after making history as the first Black man elected president of the Harvard student body

*Noah Harris has just become the first Black man to be elected president of Harvard University’s student body. On Tuesday, he appeared on MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” to credit late Congressman John Lewis as his motivation and biggest inspiration.

Harris, a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is a junior government major and also co-chairs the Undergraduate Council’s Black Caucus. He said that his three main goals will be improving student life, increasing access to mental health and wellness, and diversity inclusion.

Harris told O’Donnell that civil rights icon Lewis had a “profound impact” on him and that he hopes to embody his “love of country.”

Watch below:

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‘Bachelorette’ Star Tayshia Adams Gets Emotional During Rare Conversation About Race [VIDEO]

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*“Bachelorette”Star Tayshia Adams opened up about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement during a rare conversation about race on the hit dating series.

Adams confessed to biracial contestant Ivan Hall on Tuesday’s episode that the death of George Floyd changed her perspective as a Black/Latina woman. She became emotional during their date while explaining her experience as a woman of color in America.

 “Being in Orange County and surrounded by a lot of people that don’t look like me — being the only person that looks like me — I’m realizing that I’ve been trying so hard my whole life to blend in because I knew I was different,” said Adams of her California upbringing. “I didn’t really want to cry about it or open up about it, but hearing people yell ‘Black Lives Matter,’ it hit me more than I realize just because those are people in my backyard that I’ve been trying to prove for so long that I’m the same as them.”

READ MORE: Muslim Model Halima Aden Will No Longer Walk Runways After Losing ‘Touch with Who I Was’

Hall also shared his own experience as man of color, and recalled how his younger brother was mistreated in prison by correctional officers. 

Adamsl told the camera, “He understands me more than anybody else can. That’s obviously what I’ve been looking for.”

The casting of Adams and the discussion about race comes months after Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black lead, called out the “Bachelor” franchise for “systemic racism.”

In response, producers diversified the popular series both in front of and behind the camera. 

“We made a concerted effort, before the pandemic, to make better strides for diversity and let people see themselves and their love represented on the show,” host and producer Chris Harrison told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think the best thing we ever did was realizing and admitting there was an issue, and then saying, ‘Let’s get to work and let’s do better.'”

Speaking to the publication earlier in the season about starring on the show, Adams said: “Not only am I African American, but I am Mexican, and I’m going to have an opportunity to have a platform to relate to so many women who look like me, who haven’t had the opportunity to relate to someone in the past. How can you not want to take that opportunity and be an amazing role model for people? That was something that I took on and was really excited to be able to do.”

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