2011 Hillhouse Grad Killed

Jack Paulishen PhotoOn Thursday, Antonio “Country” Holloway’s old principal gave him a suit and sent him to a job interview.

On Saturday night, someone shot Holloway on Norton Street.

Early Sunday morning, he died.

The Christmas murder is New Haven’s 34th homicide of the year.

Someone shot Holloway (pictured; note: this newer photo was substituted for another one on Tuesday morning) in the chest at 335 Norton Street at 8:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve, according to police spokesman Officer David Hartman. He was pronounced dead at Hospital of St. Raphael around 3:51 a.m.

Holloway, who was 19 years old, graduated from Hillhouse earlier this year, according to Principal Kermit Carolina.

He came to New Haven from down South in his junior year, according to another adult in the community who worked with him (and who asked Sunday to remain unidentified). Holloway lived with his sister through his time at Hillhouse. For the past year he has been homeless, going from “house to house.”

In the past week he asked several adults—a social worker, a cop, Carolina—for help in finding a job.

Carolina said he gave him a suit and a letter of recommendation, then sent him to Olive Street to apply for one of those new non-union school custodial jobs the city is filling. (Read about that here.)

Carolina, who was shaken by the news of Holloway’s death, said Sunday morning he was confident that Holloway would have gotten the job.

“He was going to be hired,” Carolina said.

According to the state judicial website, Holloway did have a pending case awaiting disposition. He had a Jan. 24 court date scheduled. The arrest file has been sealed.

It’s unclear whether Holloway’s homicide marks a new, or tied, threshold in New Haven.

Until recently, it was commonly reported by officials and others that New Haven’s record for homicides in one year was 34. That official number has changed over time.

According to Hartman, the most current official statistics show that 35 homicides took place in New Haven in 1989 and in 1990; 36 in 1991; and 33 in 1994.

Hartman Sunday explained the discrepancy.

In the past officials had recorded homicides by incident, he said. If two people were killed, for instance, the department considered that one homicide.

Recently the department went through old records to update the numbers and counted homicides by number of victims. That’s why the numbers have changed.

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posted by: Go figure on December 25, 2011  12:30pm

This is terribly saddening.  ...  I wonder if Dean “rolled” or if Dean was on ... vacation…

posted by: insider98 on December 25, 2011  12:45pm

Dean was not there/here,..still vacationing,...

posted by: Shocked no saddened Yes on December 25, 2011  12:51pm

Oh my another one..very sad…Ok so Johnny Mr. Mayor as that you do control the NHPD and now but, not shockingly the School system…as with your outrageous sickening and Bullying tactics ..with the Principle of Hillhouse…
What is your next course of proactive bullying for your citizens who so crazily once gain voted you into office, with this now 33rd Homicide on Christmas Eve/Day!!!! ????
New Haven Citizens Wake Up!!!!!!! You voted him into office so please do not complain about your high taxes and speed bumps parking and the crime rate in your fine city and especially about the police and their behaviors, they are risking their lives and certainly do the best with what they you are the citizens, the ones who voted for your fine Mayor Johnny D..
.Simply Prayers for this victim..again, a senseless death in New Haven with a Mayor who coninues to prove that he cares more about his ego than his citizens…

posted by: Not another on December 25, 2011  12:58pm

Classy choice for the victim’s photo.

posted by: Evelyn on December 25, 2011  1:06pm

AGAIN.. How many homocides there has been in prior years is irrelevant to how to we stop our neighborhoods from being overrun with gun toting people that are causing the good citizens to not want to leave their homes or for mothers (such as myself) I am afraid for my girls to be out after dark, fearing they just may be in the wrong place at the wrong time and someone who doesnt care about another human life, may shoot my babies? I am tired of waking up and turning on the news and the first thing you hear is ‘yet ANOTHER’ shooting in New Haven..

posted by: Noteworthy on December 25, 2011  1:16pm

The cops were counting homicides the same way the NHPS were counting graduates.

Another sad commentary about New Haven under DeStefano.

posted by: Newhavener on December 25, 2011  1:27pm

There are lies, dam lies and statistics. The past several police administrations have changed the compiling of records so often no one knows Real Numbers. Cases that would be considered homicides have be downgraded to manslaughter, not counted. Cases later deemed suspicious were never further investigated for fear they might fall into the homicide stats.
The more significant stat is the solvability rate, lowest in history, close to the lowest in the county. And then there the conviction rate,
Sadly in New Haven the chance of getting away with murder is better then good.
What do the citizens of the city get,rhetoric from city hall blaming everyone from the White House to the homeless. We get a revolving door at police headquarters with no stability, no real policy and no leadership.
Stop with the stats, stop with the rhetoric, stop with the passing the responsibility and start policing the city,

posted by: JustAnotherTaxPayer on December 25, 2011  2:06pm

THE homicide stats were intentionally altered in 1990 and 1991 by Chief Pastore’s intentional mmisinterpretationof the llegalddefinitionof hhomicideby the FBI. There were actually 44 in 1990, and 43 in 1991.

The alterations came with the pleading out to a charge of Manslaughter in court. With that it was decided that the crime could not be ccategorizedas a hhomicide because there was no eadjudicationof Murder.

But manipulation of the stats was the least of all sins. The number of deaths that went unsolved or covered up by Pastore was the greatest sin.

posted by: Preppy cop on December 25, 2011  2:21pm

Gang signs and marijuana blunts in this picture….. We need to start parenting our children.  Btw dean has been police chief for 4 homicides now, hasn’t “rolled” to any yet. He does seem to talk the talk, can’t wait to see him finally walk the walk, after his vacation of course

posted by: streever on December 25, 2011  2:23pm

How sad and senseless.

Previous years don’t matter.

What matters is that THIS IS WRONG AND IT NEEDS TO STOP, and King John needs to stop playing games. When he laid off those police last time to send a message of fear and intimidation to the Unions, he was behaving exactly as we have all come to expect him to.

We need to topple this regime if we want to see our young people safe. The mayor talks the talk, but where is his investment in the neighborhood this young man grew up in?

Why are we bending over backwards for rich, millionaire developers downtown, but we don’t have a comprehensive investment plan for our under-performing neighborhoods?

I understand we don’t have the money right now, but we have children dying right now. We need to plan, and we need to actively use those plans and leverage the brain power this city has to get grants & resources to transform the literal deserts these children are growing up in.

This is New Haven’s future—this is New Haven. It isn’t enough to say, “Downtown has gotten so safe!” This young man could have been working productively in New Haven, re-investing in New Haven, getting married, having children here.

Instead, we mourn him and argue about damn statistics.

We need to get our act together, and we need to start investing in the neighborhood this young man grew up in. We need to proactively change the environment that leads to this.

The man who killed him wasn’t born a murderer—he became one, through his environment, through his life experiences, through his lack of opportunities. We need to systematically invest in the environment that produces this. We need to create opportunities and we need to start now.

It isn’t enough to add a luxury condo building downtown that walls itself off from half the city. It isn’t enough to build a private driveway for wealthy suburbanites to drive straight to a 120k/year job at YNHH. It isn’t enough to give a multi-million dollar tax break to an already wealthy and politically savvy developer. It isn’t enough to give out a scholarship to a few highly-performing kids each year.

We need to get to the actual root of these problems and transform the environment around the children of New Haven, and we need to start now.

posted by: joe on December 25, 2011  3:46pm

ok, not to jump sides, but the fact is I’m sure the number of homicides would have been lower if the previous chief didnt try to run the department from the windy city. that said, while I actually like esserman, it’s sad that he is already on vacation. While many people may disagree with me, you really can’t blame the guys and gals out there from nhpd working the streets. unfortunately they wind up having to be reactive instead of proactive. for the most part, they can’t tell the future. I would like to know however if the multi illion dollar “shot spotter” picked up the shooting last night. This system was supposed to be able to tell the difference between gunshots and backfires, and gunshots and fireworks. to be quite honest, I think the system is a piece of junk. Over last winter people were getting dispatched for what wound up being plow blades hitting the curb. today they dispatched to the arewa of 346 whalley ave for what may or may not have been fireworks. quite frankly, the city should have invested the money in more training of current cops or more cops in general but hey, hindsight is always 20/20 right? Now when this chief comes back from his rest and relaxation, he should be all primed and ready to go and should hit the ground running. Fact is, he needs to get tough right off the bat and not take any nonsense and city hall needs to let the guy do his job and stay at/in city hall. What will probably happen is this chief and the street cops will start making headway and then good ole john boy will get some complaints and tell them to back off. thats what always happens. But hey, who am I to call things as I see them and I’ve only been around since that I can remember at least, since the early days of pastore. I remember when he first got into the chiefs position, city was at an all time high for homicides then too. Just a word, John, if you’re reading this, let the cops do their job and stay in your office. You already have your hand in the cookie jar with your hand picked PIO so stay at city hall where you belong and stay out of the way for a change. To the guys and girls out there on the beat, Stay Safe.

posted by: unreal on December 25, 2011  3:55pm

This is totally unreal. Part time Limon booted for Esserman…4 weeks on the job and ON VACATION ??????? Must be the stress. Great pic for chief mayor !!!!! At this rate the total chiefs in a year will exceed the total murders…useless administration…but johny did get the more important emergency meeting in friday

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on December 25, 2011  4:11pm

I don’t quite understand the fixation on homicides as the relevant measurement of comparison. While they are the most accurate statistic, they tell very little about the overall atmosphere of violent crime. As the Register reported a week or two ago, crime has gone down since last year. Additionally, there have been less than half the number of shootings this year as compared to 1988, 89, 90, 91, 92…
Next year if homicides are way down but shootings are up, that will be reported. If gun violence is down but rapes are up, we’ll only hear about that on the news. If muggings are up…
There’s no standard, its just about reporting fear because fear sells. Accuracy is difficult and boring, but it’s precision that will save journalism, it’s sensationalism that destroys it. So I’d like to thank the NHI for doing a better job than many other publications and hope that they continue to inform rather than infect the public discourse.
A crime problem isn’t “solved” by electing a new mayor (though that may be a part of it)or “supporting” the sensative little police officers with confidence boosters (they’re not babies, if they can’t do their job they should quit), or “stopping” the violence by some arbitrary means. A problem like this is addressed through long-term, boring programs and individuals stepping up in a large movement to slowly change behavior and an atmosphere. The current crime problem of today most relevantly traces back to the mid-1960s, and possibly to the late 19th Century in some cases, so if we want to be serious about having intelligent and effective responses (different from “solutions”) to this problem then we have to start at the beginning and we have to realize the great difficulty and complexity that comes with an entrenched culture of violence and degrading behavior that is imbedded in a very small, but influential segment of the population.

posted by: streever on December 25, 2011  4:29pm

I don’t blame any officer for the homicide rate.

I blame our systemic failure to invest in our poor neighborhoods. I blame our inability to invest in a serious and comprehensive improvement plan and re-entry system.

We make the cops put away a criminal, and then the same criminal walks back out on the street with nowhere to go and nothing to do. No education, no understanding of the value of human life, and no comprehension that they should want better.

I do wish we could hold the Mayor accountable. This is his graduating class—the people committing the murders (and the people being murdered) went to New Haven schools, found no opportunities in New Haven, and all the while, the Mayor built literal palaces.

There is a school in New Haven with a gargoyle of the Mayor. He puts his name on every stupid thing he builds, from sidewalk curb cuts to schools to the security system at City Hall.

After almost a generation, he decides to invest in the quality of education for New Haven kids, but even still, he does it half-heartedly.

Why is the man who presided over the dysfunctional school system—Dr. Reginald Mayo—still there? 18 years of failure, and this man not only keeps his job, but presides over the reform?

Reforming what? Teachers? Reform the soldiers on the ground? Not address the leadership and the top-heavy administration? Same nonsense he did with re-building the buildings.

Instead of buying books for kids, he spends 80k a year on a spokesman to trumpet his success. Instead of buying books for kids, he champions Peggy Moore, as she systemically disbands student run groups, mocks her students, and leaves her office early. She denies it, but try to find her at Cross after 2 pm—despite her many assurances to the NHI that she “works all day” and is there after “everyone has left”, she is long gone.

So who does the Mayor target?

Janitors. I mean shucks, if we just get cheaper janitors, the kids learn, right? Doesn’t that improve the school?

He joins Yale to form a much-needed and smart program—the New Haven promise—and then he calls it quits. We did our part! We will give out scholarships to a few already hard-working & smart kids.

What do we do about the kids who are harder to reach? The ones who drop-out and aren’t recorded because we were using flawed metrics in an effort to make our drop-out rate look lower?

The Mayor doesn’t know, doesn’t have any ideas, and doesn’t even address it. He sets more standardized test goals, but doesn’t invest in the neighborhoods where these kids live.

He doesn’t talk to the 10 year old who is afraid of being shot and killed like his 14 year old brother. He doesn’t. He talks to the 15 year old who has a loving family and studies hard and got a Promise scholarship, and invites him to appear in campaign literature and at the Democratic Town Committee endorsement.

He parades the kids who already do well—who would do well if John DeStefano disappeared tomorrow—like he is their messiah, and he pretends the kid who is afraid of being shot down in the streets doesn’t exist.

He isn’t a leader—he is a paper tiger, a facsimile of a Mayor, and as far as I’m concerned, he isn’t the Mayor of any city I live in. Until he gets real about investing in our lowest performing neighborhoods, he is a stuffed suit—a naked emperor, strutting about and begging you to admire his finery.

posted by: Nick on December 25, 2011  6:02pm

“Carolina said he gave him a suit and a letter of recommendation, then sent him to Olive Street to apply for one of those new non-union school custodial jobs the city is filling.

“Carolina, who was shaken by the news of Holloway’s death, said Sunday morning he was confident that Holloway would have gotten the job.”

Kermit is amazing. If everyone in New Haven cared as much for the city’s youth as he does, the events in this story wouldn’t happen.

posted by: Blue on December 25, 2011  7:55pm

TO Joe,

shot spotter did infact pick up the shots. There were 3 shots fired. About a minute after that calls began to come in, which was followed by another called stating that there was a victim of the shooting.

Most of the shots are reported by shot spotter. Not everyone calls.

posted by: 093insider on December 25, 2011  9:26pm

According to Hartman, the most current official statistics show that 35 homicides took place in New Haven in 1989 and in 1990; 36 in 1991; and 33 in 1994.

... Please lets stop trying to change the numbers. The homicide rate is high and stop making excuses.

The community needs to do the community work and let the police do their job and stop trying to make false claims against the police making them second guess themselves before they can do their job.

Everyone wants to stop the police from doing their work but complain when the homicide rate rises. We need to work together and stop the killing. This is to out of hand enough is enough!!!

posted by: Trustme on December 25, 2011  9:38pm

New haven as a gang problem; tre bloods, brimm bloods, pyro bloods, grape street crips, R2 crips, Latin kings, and all kinds of smaller other sets. Just another young man dead, sad. Per the new Chief, a few walk beats will help out the bloody streets of new haven, yeah right. We need tons of cops on the streets and citizens full cooperation, but most important these judges need to lock up these criminals who keep delaying their never ending cases. NHI don’t ignore my comment this time.

posted by: Sad on December 25, 2011  10:25pm

We will past the record by the end of the year ...very sad…

posted by: tasha on December 26, 2011  1:04am

What is this? Fox news reporting? If it was a white kid they would find the best picture they could to post of him and say despite his many run ins with the law he was such a joy to b around n he made everyone smile n yada yada ya…

posted by: Yaakov on December 26, 2011  3:01am


You say that “Most of the shots are reported by shot spotter,” but a few nights ago when I heard 10 shots coming from the area of West River and called it in, I immediately turned on the New Haven police radio feed only to hear officers and dispatch talking about how they couldn’t find where the shots were from, and were searching around in a huge area.

If shot spotter results in officers looking around an area from Chapel to Whalley, Sherman to the Boulevard, then what’s the point?

posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on December 26, 2011  8:12am

This person has an arrest record and “was going to be hired” to work in the New Haven Public Schools?!

Will the city put people with arrest records in the schools to clean them?  Seriously?  Can the Independent look into this further?

posted by: timmy on December 26, 2011  9:22am

@ Streever

New Haven is a very diverse city with all nationalities and ethnic back rounds, many that are disenfranchised.  They are all poor, jobless poorly educated, however the only one’s killing each other are the AA.

When you continually blame, you give the ability to change.  The only way to stop the violence, the AA community needs yo stand up on it’s own two feet and not allow the vicious cycle from repeating.  The boys/men are all angry that they have no “father” however they keep repeating the cycle. 

I am by no means a fan of JD and his policy’s have some blame for the crime rate and the overall lack of education of the residents.  The lack of education has caused employers not to want to come to new haven.
  However the AA needs to take responsibility

They say that education is the only true equalizer, the AA community refuses to become educated and become free.  All the programs in the world will not change that and entitlement’s only make the matter worse .

posted by: Tired of the nonsense on December 26, 2011  11:12am

It’s doesn’t get more sad than this. My heart and my prayers go out to the mother and family of this young man. Did I know him? No! Do I know the family? No! What I DO know that instead of merry christmas, this mother and family were saying goodbye to this young man. Sometimes I just wish I could wave a wand over everyone and make us all safe, especially our young people. Right now, my daughters do not understand why I wanna know EVERYWHERE they are and with who and that they have to be in the house fairly early. I’m afraid to have my teenagers out and about in New Haven. How sad when the people that God created to live on this earth together, keep taking each other away.

posted by: Noteworthy on December 26, 2011  11:16am

Why is Esserman on vacation already? How can one have a vacation when you only have weeks on the job? Unacceptable but typical of a DeStefano contract.

Where is the contract and let’s seet he details on what he is being paid, and what his perks are.

Where is the contract for our other part time time police chief Limon? Has he filed his consulting reports yet? We need to see these details as well.

posted by: Uhhhh on December 26, 2011  11:25am

I’d really like to see a zoomed in version of that photo.  Is that a gun in his left hand???

Could be a pretty good explanation as to why he got shot.

posted by: truth on December 26, 2011  11:27am

Four homicides since the “superchief” has taken over, none solved.  I’m sure the Chief will come back from vacation rip-roaring mad, blaming everyone he possibly can at the NHPD.  Proof again that AC Velleca is the smartest guy I know….

posted by: Bill Saunders on December 26, 2011  12:05pm

This summer, after an innocent sixteen-year old was murdered within   plain sight of my property, I posted something to the effect of New Haven being on pace to reach 35 homicides this year. 

Some naysayer said that that would never happen.

So, what is happening, then?????
This is a crisis not a statistical anomaly.

posted by: lLynda Faye Wilson on December 26, 2011  12:16pm

The HOLLOWAY FAMILY AND EXTENDED FAMILY have my sincere condolences. The real hurt is not so much that we all have to meet that day (w/o a doubt), BUT THE WAY WE LEAVE HERE, IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT VOLUME, NEVER MIND THE PAGE. And when I state “I KNOW” the “PAIN”, believe me.




posted by: masnoh wilson on December 26, 2011  12:38pm

Another life that will never be replaced…we need to help our young men.  We really need to.  So, so sad!

posted by: Young America on December 26, 2011  1:25pm

You know what the problem is with you people who judge is that you’re on the outside looking in. I’m the victims sister who became his legal guardian at his tender age of 17 and made sure he enrolled in school the day he came to live with me and also made sure he grauduated. He was a very smart kid who got mixed in with an unfamiliar surrounding so he tried to fit. You can teach a child everything you know when they’re under your roof but when they walk out those doors it’s up to them to apply those lessons to life. So it’s not bad parenting it’s what you choose to do with your life. And to New Haven Taxpayers comment about him having a record and being able to work in a school, you’re ... bashing some one with a past who’s trying to do better with themselves after they’ve made mistakes. And to the person who wrote this article he was not homeless and just started staying with friends due to his choice. He had plenty of but he made bad decisions. It was just 2 weeks ago that he knew he was going down the wrong path and decided to get his life together at the encouragement of me HIS SISTER. So if you don’t have anything positive to say save your comments to someone who wants to hear because my family and I are grieving heavily at this time and we would appreciate the fact that if you were not a friend or family to be quiet.

posted by: anothersi on December 26, 2011  1:37pm

New Haven 34th 2 Homicides 3 shot in 1 week
Hartford 25th 3 shot in 1 week period
Bridgeport 21th 4 shot 2 Homicides in 5 days

New Haven Record 44th Homicides 1990
Hartford 54th Homicides 2001 or 2002
Bridgeport 68th Homicides 1993

posted by: Mudear on December 26, 2011  3:51pm

My heart weeps for the young man’s sister. I know the Holloways and they are good people. There are good parents who have children that listen to others who may not have their best interests at heart and there are bad parents whose children make all the right choices. We need to come together and help young women like his sister and young men like Antonio,but as another comment from Timmy suggested this is our problem first and whether the chief is on vacation or not, this might have happened. Black children are the ones pulling the triggers and not someone else. We cannot blame the problems that we directly cause even as we know that we are at the end of the line of opportunity. Yet, there are so many kids in this city who make it because they hang with the right people in the right places and do the right things. We must confront our children about their behavior at the same time that we pressure the system to treat us in a just and fair manner. Where we have people who look like us in charge we must ask them to work overtime to redirect our children into righteous paths. Gary Tinney and Mike Neal are trying to get more minorities in the fire department and not getting a lot of support. We need stout young men like them working to get residents in the police department, schools, private businesses, and unions. We need the minister to work directly with groups of kids and we need more than lip service and photo ops. We are in some trying times. God bless the Holloways as I have also lost friends and relatives to the gun or knife and all of their killers were Black. I do not blame the police or any elected official but poor choices in so-called friends or a decision on my young relatives to travel a road that leads to death or destruction.

posted by: Copper on December 26, 2011  4:26pm

Darn, these murders are really getting in the way of my vacation. Why did I have to open my mouth and say I would attend every murder victim funeral….

posted by: Halo on December 27, 2011  11:53am

This is just so sad. I hope all the idiots who voted DeStefano back into office (so that the homicides can continue) are satisfied. That any black person in their right mind could vote this man back into office just boggles the mind. It’s obvious he does not sincerely care about stopping the violence in the city, if he did he would have gone to Hartford to ask for help (which he quite clearly needs) to quell the violence instead of trying to get the vote for ILLEGAL ALIENS to ensure his re-election!

posted by: speaking for many on December 27, 2011  3:04pm

very sad, and its not the only tragedy to come of this, our mayor is pushing for a case against the principal , accusing her of changing grades for antonio so he can graduate,
the mayor has been putting negative pressure on those who didn’t support him in the elections.

posted by: Leslie Blatteau on December 27, 2011  3:35pm

I’m sorry that this young man died way before his time and I’m sorry that his family members are mourning his death. I also thank Jack Paulishen for this different take on the young man’s life via his high school graduation picture. But then the sociologist in me comes out. It seems as if our city’s teenagers are struggling to find their real identity. Antonio is not the only one who presents this very real split: proud high school graduate in one picture and tough kid from the hood in the other. As a high school teacher I know how real this identity searching can be for teenagers.  And I am grateful to have read the work of Michael Nakkula to know that teenagers need multiple, varied and authentic opportunities to form a positive, sustainable identity that will carry them into adulthood. Teenagers need people to continually support their success on good days and their struggles on bad. We need to have honest conversations with young people.  We are the adults whom they trust. Obscene facebook pictures are not part of the path to success; hard work, high school diplomas and respect for the self and others are. Peace to those who suffer and to everyone in the Elm City. We can turn this tide. Have the conversations, model hard work and love for humanity, and give kids a chance to thrive.

posted by: Lynda Faye Wilson on December 27, 2011  4:30pm

Mrs. Blatteau depict from the photo the change in Mr. Holloway. The mentioning of toughie from the hood is demeaning. As if the HOOD is TABOO for upstanding citizens, and perhaps Mr. Holloway was a proud high school graduate from somewhere else. The two pictures are the same person, from the same HOOD. The point I think you are missing is (I presume)they are a before and after photo. I’m sure you read how eager he was to get a job. I’m also sure, his seeking did not start and stop last week. Please know that there are long-livers of THE HOOD and many not caring to go anywhere else.  “IT’S HOME.” i CAN’T HELP MYSELF - your comment hit my home THE HOOD,again feeling compelled to comment myself.

posted by: just asking on December 27, 2011  5:15pm

Why did you change the original picture? Why not run both pictures. Selective journalism at its worse. If a picture tells a story, then keep the original one too. Kermit make you do it?

[Editor: Yes. Kermit Carolina came to my house with a neutron bomb in the middle of the night, woke me up, and said, “If you don’t comply with our demand to fool everybody in New Haven by giving a dead person a nicer photo than the distant out of focus one you had to run at first, you will be blown to smithereens.” And I was having such a nice sleep, dreaming about new agitprop schemes to humanize people who deserve to be discounted! Here’s our selective journalism to use your phrase: When someone dies, we like to run the nicest picture we can. We see no point in making dead people look bad. Our deepest apologies to haters who would prefer to have every oportunity to spit on the names and memories of dead people they’ve never met and couldn’t care less about when they were alive.]

posted by: newhavener on December 27, 2011  6:03pm

To the Editor: while I wholeheartedly support you in you reasoning for the change in the photo, I strongly disagree with the elimination of the original. It was used, it was there then it wasn’t, it might be considered editing removing something that was published and discarding it has a tinge of censorship, even if it was self imposed,it has no business in journalism. This appears to be a problem with the digital media, if its not liked or popular delete it as if it never existed. I’m wondering what the explanation is for the disappearance of the story on Dean Esserman’s criticism of the State Forensic Lab from last week, without one it seems that City Hall applied pressure after Dean spoke without thinking first.

posted by: Concerned Parent on December 27, 2011  6:35pm

It is really sad that it has come to be the way it is,It’s really not safe for our young people to be out on the street at any hour and I feel that instead of the mayor trying to get immagrants voting rights and cheap labor, he needs to be looking into the community to see what can be done about all this violence going on in the Elm City, but before he can clean up the Elm City he has to start in his cabinet.

posted by: anna on December 27, 2011  6:52pm

re: the editor’s response to “just saying” (comment #29?)
i hope that the “editor’s comment” was actually written by “just saying” and not a real editor’s comment. i expect more from nhi than a sarcastic response to what i feel IS a valid point by “just saying”.

NHI chose the first, dehumanizing (editor’s own words) picture , then changed it to the current photo. this in itself feeds into the oversimplified “good” vs. “bad” dichotomy that many people are all too eager to accept without questioning (which really doesn’t correspond with real life, does it?). NHI chose the either/or framework by doing this. I might not like it, but I can understand this. But by sarcastically deriding an absolutely legitimate comment by “just saying”, I feel NHI goes too far…by doing so, NHI is clearly reinforcing the good vs. bad construct and deriding someone who questions them for doing so….I expected more from you guys…seems i need to adjust my expectations.

posted by: facebooking on December 27, 2011  7:08pm

As my memory serves, the caption underneath the original photo (of Holloway displaying hand gang signs and a 1-finger salute, as well as smoking a blunt) stated “a facebook photo.”

To those who think that the photo “dehumanized” Holloway (presumably because it shows him acting in a criminal and gang-related manner), the only way the NHI would have been able to get the photo would have been via Holloway’s facebook profile that he had total control over - in terms of what photos he deemed acceptable in portraying who he was.

If Holloway wanted to show that photo on his facebook profile, why can’t NHI use it on an article about him?

Personally, I think the NHI should display both photos so that we can see both sides of Holloway’s life.

posted by: cedarhillresident on December 27, 2011  7:16pm

I am sure that was a sarcastic post from just saying.

Paul and company read noteworthys post. Would love all of it.

posted by: Anon on December 27, 2011  9:10pm

New Haven court system is the worst and the weakest especially when you see people walking out laughing at their probation they were issued… probation ha ha ha… for having a gun .... light on crime given no time

posted by: Barbara Rawls Ivy on December 27, 2011  11:07pm

I am owning my responsibility of failing children.  I am not doing enough to ensure that young people in New Haven survive.  I am guilty of pointing the fingers and looking for a great savior. Will I feel better blaming the Mayor, the police chief, my neighbors, teachers, the business community for not hiring. Is there enough blame for music videos for being bigger influence in our children’s lives.

I am a part of the problem.  I got my own problems and my own children to provide safe passage to adulthood in these trying times.

I could volunteer and run an after school program.  I could talk to the young folks I see roaming the neighborhoods in packs of 5, 6. 7 8. 10 deep. I can share my story of making mistakes and overcoming.

I am owning my responsibility of not doing my part.  I am ashamed that I am not doing more. I am needed and I look the other way.  I am called and I refuse to answer.  It is easier to shift the blame to someone else… those folks, folks I have voted for, folks I think ought to be doing more.

As long as I do nothing.  As long as I don’t get involved and only concern myself with my children, then my city will continue to suffer.

This young man looks like my son.  He could be my son.  How do I continue to shake my head and act as though this is a policing problem, or a mayoral problem or that other neighborhood’s problem.

Yes, I am owning my lack of duty, commitment and self sacrifice to children that truly belong to me but I haven’t claimed.

Here’s a thought” Occupy New Haven’s Youth!

At some point I will not have any heart left to feel for our children. it breaks for each child lost. 

Tomorrow I am doing more.

posted by: just asking on December 27, 2011  11:36pm

Just to clarify… since the editor did not respond… the sarcastic reply was actually from the editor and not by me. My question was honest, yes maybe the sarcasm was not required but the I stand by my original question.  The editor responded that “When someone dies, we like to run the nicest picture we can. We see no point in making dead people look bad.” However by his own reasoning they chose to run the original photo first. You already portrayed the deceased in a way that he portrayed himself. So I would assume that you all keep good photos handy so that the NHI wont be forced to initially run the “bad” picture if that is all they have.

I still stand by my original statement that you found the original photo sufficient for your article. You should keep it and add to it if need be. Your job is to report the news ,,, now bend it to your liking. Let your readers decide who the person was.

posted by: Bill Saunders on December 28, 2011  2:57am

Yo, Babs,

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda…...

If everyone made a difference in one persons life, we would not be in this fix.  Your post is nothing more than posturing, sorry to say….

posted by: Edward_H on December 28, 2011  5:06am


If the original photo was “bad” either from an aesthetic standpoint due to it being out of focus or from the way the subject portrays himself in the photo why was it published in the first place? The article could stand on its own without any picture at all. The story could have been published and then updated if a picture that met your journalistic standards was found. The righteous indignation displayed in the response to just askin’s question seems out of character considering the thoughtful responses you have written in the past.

If the original photo was taken from a publicly accessible area of his Facebook profile then “Country” was not ashamed of the aesthetics of the picture nor the subject matter. In fact if the photo was publicly available to the staff of the NHI then “Country” was also fine with potential employers seeing it as well. If the photo in question was sent to the NHI by a Facebook “friend” who was granted access to this particular photo or album that is a whole different story.

[Editor: Thanks for the comment. I found the original photo acceptable to use in the absence of other alternatives, but not a particularly good photo. I judged (rightly or wrongly) that having some sense of what the person looked like would add to the story and help bring recognition from people who might have known him. Some commenters started inventing what they believed they saw in the photo because it was distant and blurry; in retrospect I can see the argument for not running it therefore. When a far, far better photo became available, I considered it an obvious improvement. That’s what I substituted it.]

posted by: Truth Avenger on December 28, 2011  9:34am

Mr. Holloway’s legacy will not, in the long run, be measured by a photograph depicting him one way or another.  He will be measured and remembered by the lives he did or didn’t touch, by the deeds he did - on whichever side of the ledger, and his character as measured by the people who knew him.  The discussion of whether the original photo should or should not have been used or changed is a distraction and a disservice to the memory of this young man and to the overarching issue of what to do about the continuing gun violence that is claiming so many lives in our city. Our preoccupation with image should be redirected at ensuring that the reality of young peoples’ lives becomes one of opportunity and support, and as one commenter has already stated, we can, and should all do more.

posted by: Barbara Rawls Ivy on December 28, 2011  10:20am

Bill Saunders,

Posturing?  I got nothing to brag about or impress anyone with.  I am still in that place of what do I do….what can I do?

Because I have adopted children, run a support group, and give to the food bank weekly as a family effort, I am still not exempt from doing my part.  Yes if I reach out to one person that might do it…. but it has to be one homeless person, one young person, one school age child learning to read, one substance abusing person trying to get their life back on track, one person just released from jail and needs a job, housing, support.

And guess what? some of these folks are parents, who are so up against that their children can’t cope or deal or are neglected, which leads us back to looking at the violence and what I can do to help.

I am not trying to impress anyone. I am just pondering my next steps of how to be of service.

posted by: Tired of the nonsense on December 28, 2011  12:26pm

@New Haven taxpayer: Have you ever made a bad choice in your life? If so, did you expect to have to be punished for that bad choice for the rest of your entire life? So what this young man has a record? Is he not supposed to be able to get his life together and move forward to being an upstanding citizen? Guess what? I have a criminal record also, due to a drug addiction. February 8 will be four years ago that I decided to do something about it, get my life together and to help others who are trying to do better. I was homeless for a year living in a shelter but all the time pounding the pavement everyday to do better. I went to Gateway College and earned my credentials and now work for one of the largest social work agencies here. If I could do it at the age of 40, Im sure this young man could have also. Dont be so quick to judge someone because they have a record. Nowhere in any of these articles did it state he was violent or had committed any crimes against children, so why shouldnt he be able to ‘clean a school’ to feed and house himself? If he was collecting money from the government you would be judging him based on that. I read the letter from this young mans’ sister.. I wish I could just hug her. She is inadvertly being bashed by people that do not know the story. Dont judge people until you know their story or better yet, until you’re ready to reach out and help someone who may not be as fortunate as yourself.

posted by: Bill Saunders on December 28, 2011  12:46pm


I think it all starts with being a good role model for your children and their immediate friends.  That is where your impact will be felt first and foremost.  If you have the time, resources, and wherewithal to ‘serve’ beyond that, that is great, however, charity begins at home, and does not require a ‘pondering post’ that is essentially a straw man.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on December 28, 2011  12:58pm

There have been several comments about gang signs in the original photo. He was not making gang signs, he was holding up two middle fingers. There was a garbage dumpster over his left shoulder in the background that made it difficult to see his left hand, but if you actually took a good look, it was obvious that it was a middle finger. And that picture was probably taken by a friend, it wasn’t for some public event or publishing. There is a clear differentiation between a private photo and a public one (the fforsookpicture vs his school graduation picture), and I don’t see any problem with it.
If people have objections to the original publishing of that photo in the article then there is some validity to that, but the original photo was labeled correctly and it should have been viewed within the correct context. My guess is that this guy didn’t go to job interviews flippin birds at the employer, but if he wants to do that in his backyard who gives a crap?

posted by: Tired of the nonsense on December 28, 2011  1:42pm

Here is an idea.. How about we stop pointing fingers at who what or where things might have gone wrong and start using those fingers to work at finding a solution to all this senseless killing and violence our street?

posted by: Young America on December 28, 2011  7:29pm

A picture does not depict the way that we live. A picture is just a snapshot of a present event. But what’s disturbing is that this editor would go to his page that’s private in which he shared with his friends and choose the only picture that was available to you which was the profile. Every one please have respect for my family and I. This is the first person in our family whom we ever lost to violence. What makes me grieve is the community who look out their windows, point finger but never take a stand. What disturbs me are you people who sit on their computers and judge about a child who has a family that you know nothing about. Unless you plan to join me to do something about these issues that occur in our neighbor I suggest you go back in to your little cubby holes and attend to your own life. I’m on a mission to offer outlets to these young kids. So stop judging people whom you know nothing about and neighborhoods that you’ve never even been in. If you are not apart of the solution then you continue to be the problem. Vigils will be held for my brother Antonio Holloway Jr. at 8:30pm @ 355 Norton St. as we did last night. Join the movement or continue to be a nosey neighbor!

posted by: Jamal on December 30, 2011  4:56pm

I knew Antonio personally…having served as a mentor and his life skills coach.  His life ended tragically, but he did not live a tragic life.  That boy was intelligent.  He was funny. He had a smile that would make your day.  He had this quiet demeanor about him, but still managed to stand out in the room.  The last time I saw him, he told me he was on track to graduate high school. He did…and I’m proud of him for doing that.  He was not some rough neck gang banger.  He was a kid struggling to make it like so many of us have. 

I’m not interested in debating politics or defending his legacy.  I just want to send some love to his family.  They never saw this coming.  None of us did.  He DID NOT deserve this. 

We love you kid.  Keep shining…

Mr. J (Youth Continuum)