Farewell, and Thanks, to a Man Who Kept Kids Safe


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Today's news and culture by Black and other reporters in the Black and mainstream media.

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By Joe Sexton, The New York Times

When they lost their beloved crossing guard, the students at Avenues of the World School — Spider-Man, Wilder, Miss Seattle and the rest — paid tribute in cocoa and chalk.

Henderson’s family at home in Brooklyn (Ahmed Gaber for The New York Times).

From the corner of West 25th Street in Manhattan, it takes 34 steps to cross 10th Avenue, more if it is a kindergartner dawdling, sippy cup in hand, to the private school on the other side. To get to Avenues of the World School by crossing West 25th Street takes only 16 steps, even fewer if it is a frantic 12th grader bounding to be on time for first period.

Five days a week, in the bright early mornings of September and the creeping twilight of February afternoons, Richard Henderson, crossing guard, oversaw those arrivals, holding hands, bumping fists, hollering at traffic, picking up dropped homework. […]

Henderson, known as Richie, was a son of East New York, raised on public assistance by a single mother who died of cancer when Richie was just a teenager. He had no high school diploma nor even a general equivalency degree, but he had a good family and a job he loved as a crossing guard at a $65,850-a-year private school.

Every school day at the corner of 10th and 25th, children of great privilege were given over, for a fleeting few seconds, to the protection of a man of great warmth and responsibility. Henderson managed the flow of Ubers dropping off children and made sure the boys let the girls play football with them during recess. […]

Henderson and one of his friends, Anthony Williams, were headed home on the No. 3 train when there was a dispute inside the car they were riding in. Dockery said she was told a man and his wife and child were playing loud music, and another rider objected. When a fight started, Henderson intervened.

The police can’t confirm that. There were no cameras in the car, and witness testimony has been hard to corroborate. They have no reason to believe Henderson did anything but try to help, but the details of what took place may never be known.

Here is what’s certain: Richie Henderson was shot dead, gone at 45. Early news reports said Henderson was shot multiple times.

Continue reading.

Read this Breaking News article to learn more about how gun violence affects the Black community.

Find even more Breaking News here.

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