The trial of Bakari Henderson, who was killed in Greece after being attacked by a mob of white men in 2017, will soon be retried, People reports. Before his life was tragically cut short, Bakari, who had just graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in finance and entrepreneurship, had dreams of expanding his apparel brand.
“He was always headstrong and knew what he wanted to do," Bakari's mother Jill Henderson said. "He would set his goals and pretty much they would come to realization."
"We were so, so proud of him," shared Phil Henderson, Bakari’s father. "He had just recently graduated, we sent him off to Greece and he came back home, dead in a box, a week later."
Just two months after receiving his diploma on July 7, 2017, Bakari was killed while celebrating his graduation on a trip with his friends on the Greek island of Zakynthos.
‘We were at this secret cliff-diving spot that most tourists have no clue about," says the friend who organized the trip. "That was just like one of the best days."
According to eyewitness accounts, Bakari, along with his friends were at a nightclub after being invited by a Serbian waitress. After taking a selfie with the waitress, some men at another table were incensed at the gesture.
"A Serb who was beside us approached me," the waitress testified, "and told me, 'There are so many Serbs in the bar. Why are you talking with a Black guy?'"
The man then slapped Bakari, who fought back before leaving the club. Then a mob of mostly Serbian men joined the aggressor, pursuing Bakari into the street, and fatally beat him.
Beginning with the selfie, the entire incident was captured on surveillance video.
Bakari’s parents believe that race played a role in his death.
"Why else would you [bring up his skin color] if there wasn't some type of racial tension?" his mother asked.
Of the 10 attackers, nine were charged with intentional homicide in Greece. During their trials, six were convicted on lesser assault charges and three were freed. None was found guilty of murder.
"It felt like the court system had a part to play in the murder," says friend Chris Vineyard, who first met Bakari in sixth grade. "I mean the evidence is all there on that footage. How's that not enough?"
Disturbed that the suspects received lenient sentences and others went free, a Grecian judge ordered a retrial.
The retrial was scheduled to begin back in 2020 but it had been delayed numerous times. In February, Vice President Kamala Harris brought up Henderson’s case during a meeting with the Greek prime minister.
The next hearing is currently scheduled to begin on Friday, March 11.