Storm Over Brooklyn (2020) - full transcript

A look at the events surrounding the murder of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager in Brooklyn, who was killed in by a group of white youths. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
The only thing worse in politics
than being wrong,

is being boring.

I'm not sick of winning yet.

And we're crying out
as a nation.

Thank you for having me.

Police? 777,

um, on Bay Ridge Avenue
and 20th Avenue,

somebody just got shot.
Somebody just got shot.

A bunch of white boys
just shot a black guy.

Where are the people
that did it?

They just ran around the corner on, um,
68th Street.

They were on foot?

Yeah, on foot.
A bunch of white boys.

Thank you.
Police will be there.

EMS will be notified.

There are certain calls
that you never forget.

This was one
of the bigger ones

besides the
World Trade Center.

When I got here,
my tires were smokin'.

When I got to about
this car here,

I saw a body lying right here.

His shirt was cut or ripped
halfway down his chest,

and as I opened it,
I saw the two bullet holes

right over the heart.

I later found out
his name was Yusuf Hawkins.

He looked like a good kid.

You know, didn't look like
a thug or anything.

I felt his pulse.
It's possible he's still viable.

We packaged him,
put him in the ambulance,

and then started responding down towards Maimonides Hospital.

There was a police officer
from the 6-2 precinct

riding in the front
of the ambulance with me.

And, uh, en route, he told me,
"This is a racial incident."

He had a sense that there's gonna be
problems now in the neighborhood.

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!
Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

My grandparents' house
was the center.

Freddy, Yusuf, Amir.

They lived downstairs
and I lived upstairs.

They would come up,
we would go down.

We would sit on the porch.
We would make sure, you know,

they didn't go too far
when they were young.

Every barbecue,
every birthday.

That's where we all met up
as a family.

485 Hegeman Avenue.

I've known Yusuf since I was...

Jesus, six or seven.

Amir, Yusuf, and Freddy
was outside.

We all started playing,

and we've been hanging out,
playing ball,

doing whatever, since then.

I moved right next door
to Amir,

Yusuf, and, um, Freddy.

That's how we met,
'cause we was neighbors.

And so we seen
each other every day,

and we hanged out every day.

If they wasn't at my house,
I was at their house,

and Diane, you know,
she treated me like her own.

The name Yusuf,
where'd that come from?

Well, his father named him that.

My sons didn't know
their father,

because Moses was not here.

He left when, uh,
Amir was, like,

17 months.

And then I,
I never heard from him.

He wasn't talked about much,
you know?

I mean, I thought about him,
but, you know...

He haven't ran across
my mind that much.

I know people that
have their fathers

in their lives,
or at least seeing, you know,

them every, you know,
their kids every now and then, but...

you know, I didn't see him.

It wasn't nothing that
made us feel like,

you know, we're...

we're short of a family,
you know?

Or we're missing out
on anything.

You know, now, one might say, "Well,
you were missing out on something,"

but we didn't know it.

Mainly it was me,
it was Christopher,

it was Luther,
and it was, uh, Yusuf.

We rode bikes all the time,

and we used to ride bikes
in Starrett City.

We rode from East New York
to Bedford-Stuyvesant.

We rode Atlantic Avenue.

We'd ride from one side of town to the next.

Prospect Park...

We rode everywhere.

We even rode across the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park.

There was no white people
in East New York.

You know. We had Dominicans,
we had Puerto Ricans,

but we didn't have no white people unless they was on drugs,

or they was undercover police.

So, regardless of
which way it went,

they wasn't gonna
get messed with,

because if they
was customers,

you don't want
to beat 'em up,

'cause you want 'em
to come back.

If they're police,

you definitely don't
wanna mess with them.

And Yusuf would get upset

if he didn't know where I was,
you know?

Stay away from trouble.
Do the right thing.

Just what a big brother
should be.

Yusuf, he inspired Diane.

He inspired his brothers.

He had that little spark
in him. I saw it early on.

Especially that picture that you see when he's standing by the gate

in front of the house.

I'm like,
"My cousin's going places."

I remember one time when, uh,

we was standing out on the block,
and it was a,

a friend across the street
named Ronnie,

and, you know, ain't no tellin'
what Ronnie would have ate.

And it was like some peanuts
or some old candy

that was on the concrete,

and Yusuf went over there.

He just started stomping it out,
crushing it up.

So I said,
"Yusuf, what you doin'?"

He was like, "I'm stomping this out,
because somebody here

will eat off the-- off,
you know, the street."

That's the kind of person
Yusuf was.

He knew that if he would have
left it down there,

everybody would have
went about their way,

then Ronnie would have
probably came back and ate that,

because like I said,
there was no silver spoons in East New York back then.

Some people were just going through it worse than others.

Well, I was transferred
to New York

in June of 1988.

At the time, I was the national,

uh, student, uh,
and youth minister,

uh, for the nation of Islam.

And of course, the nation

the, uh, black nationalist movement,
the more militant aspect,

of the traditional
civil rights movement.

The mode of operation of the white man is to throw the rock.

I had not been in New York
a very long time

before the Yusuf Hawkins
tragedy took place.

In the 1980s in New York,

the racial divisions
were over the top.

This sort of continuing cycle
of police murders,

and racial crime.

Over the past eight years,
the number of reported

racial attacks in New York City has increased dramatically.

Police say three black men
were savagely beaten

by a gang of white attackers
at Howard Beach.

One of the victims,
a 23-year-old construction worker,

was chased to his death.

People in this post-Obama era

want to look at the,
the New York in the '80s and '90s

in the lens of today

just don't quite understand
the climate here.

Is there a lot of crime here?
- There is,

against the whites
by the blacks,

and that's why they're not
welcome here any longer.

If they'd behave themselves
in this neighborhood,

maybe they could walk the streets and be free.

And it is in that setting

that Al Sharpton emerged

as the preeminent spokesperson
for the anger.

In the name of those
that you covered up,

in the name of those
that you spat on their grave,

by questioning whether Eleanor Bumpurs caused the cops to kill her,

whether Michael Stewart caused the police to beat him to death.

Every time a black man or woman
came to the bar of justice,

you denied him justice.

And now you want to know why your opinions don't matter to us?

'Cause you've proven
you're not big enough

to get past the color
of our skins.

New York City police say that

it's new teenage slang
for rampaging and wolf packs.

A woman jogging in New York Central Park last Wednesday night,

raped and nearly
beaten to death.

These, uh, alleged,
uh, perpetrators,

we always have to say alleged,
because that's the requirement.

When those grandmothers say,
"But he's a good boy!

He never did anything!"
Don't you believe it.

I think it was
my older cousin Felicia

took the phone call.

And she was like,
"Moses. Moses who?"

The three of them were so happy,
they didn't know what to do with themselves.

Their father came back.

I remember his dad popped up.

I was like,
"Yusuf, who is that?"

He's like, "That's my dad."

I was kinda, like,
for all the years that I've known him,

I ain't never seen his father.

I saw it, you know.
My mom got pretty excited.

How'd you feel about him?

- At that time?
- Yeah.

Oh, I was head over heels
with him.

So, my thing was like,
"Is he here to stay?

Or are they gonna try to
make this work again?"

'Cause they got
these three boys.

Yusuf was like very thrilled
to see his father.

The high school
where he was supposed to go,

he went with his father
on the tour

to see how the school was.

Since he's not here
to really speak for himself,

what was your understanding as to
why he didn't stay to raise his children?

'Cause he was stupid.

You know, 'cause, like, it...

You don't leave your kids.

I think Moses wanted to...

fix, and or correct,

any possible, well,

if I may use the...

any wrongs he might have done,

you know, as far as
the distance of

not seeing us for,
you know, so many years.

He returned
in that January of 1989,

so what, from January to August.
What, eight months?

Eight months before,
before that happened to Yusuf.

The day everything happened
was August 23, 1989.

A Wednesday.

It was like a typical day.
We was at 213 Park.

Yusuf was pretty good.
He was hard to guard 'cause he was a lefty.

After that, you know,

we went to a Chinese restaurant
on New Lots Avenue.

Yusuf's favorite was the four chicken wings and pork fried rice.

That was the go-to.

I said to Yusuf and Amir
that I got

a couple of movies
at the house that I rented.

We was actually
watching a movie.

We was actually watching
"Mississippi Burning."

And "Naked Gun."

About five, ten minutes later,

Troy came to the house.

Troy and Claude used to live
in the same building

where Christopher live at.

Troy came upstairs...

And said, "Uh, what are
y'all doing right now?"

And I said, you know,
"We're just chillin' here watchin' a movie."

He wants to go
take a look at, uh,

at a used car he seen
in a newspaper ad.

It was a Pontiac.

He said, "I like it."

He was like, "Man,
I wanna go check it out."

He had called the person
and got the directions.

He was like,
"Well, you know," sayin',

"I'm about to go down
to Bensonhurst...

to look at this car.
Y'all wanna come?"

We didn't know anything about
Bensonhurst, other than...

Jackie Gleason...

...watching a sitcom.

"The Honeymooners"...

One might say, "Well,
what do you know about 'The Honeymooners'?"

I love "The Honeymooners."
I used to watch 'em all the time.

I actually have a DVD set of all of "The Honeymooner" episodes.

How do you do, folks?
This is Smiling Ed Norton

talking to you direct from
the training quarters

of the Bensonhurst Bomber.

Holy crap.
That's-- that's where I remember it from.

Didn't know anything
about the area.

I said, "Okay, yeah.
We'll, we'll go."

So then me and Chris said, "Well, hey,
we gotta take this video

back to the video store."

They were supposed to
wait for us, you know,

in the neighborhood,
on the block, until we got back.

We was sitting on the porch.

Me, Troy, Claude, and Yusuf.

Troy went in, came back out.

And he was like,
"My pops won't take us. It's too late."

It was like, "Oh."
It was like, "Oh, well."

Troy's like, "No.
I just wanna go and come back on the train."

I'm like, "Why don't we wait
for Chris and Amir?"

He's like, "By the time they get back,
it's gonna be too late."

When we came back to the block,
they already had left.

We really didn't know where they went,
what train they took.

So we were just there in limbo.

Just, "Okay, we'll just wait
till they come back."

I don't think I've ever seen

my grandmother that upset,
that frustrated,

that angry, or however
you want to phrase it.

'Cause I,
I specifically remember

a set of words she said,

because she was, you know,
from an older generation.

She experienced,
you know, racism

way before I even
knew what it was,

or way before I could
even understand it.

She said,

"If I would have known
that boy was going out there,

I would have told him, 'No,
you ain't going out there.'"

But of course, you know,
we're thinking, well, we're free to roam,

and, hey, all we're--
all they're going to do is

look at a used car in the ad of a,
of a newspaper.

It's a different side of town,
but, you know,

nobody ever told us, "Hey,
that's off limits. You can't go over there."

And that pretty much
was the last time

I actually seen Yusuf.

You know, seen him alive.

It was about 3:00.

I came home from work.

Uh, I ate.
I took a shower.

I was working with my father.

He was my foreman on the,
on the construction job.

And I went to go return, uh,
a video at the video store.

On the way home,
I seen two guys on the corner,

and they said that
there was gonna be a beef

on 68th Street
and 20th Avenue.

So, when I heard
there was gonna be a beef,

I went to the candy store
on the side of the block.

It was called Snacks & Candy.

It was just a regular night.

We were hanging out
at the school yard.

That was our, you know,
that was our place.

And we had a big radio,
you know.

We were listening to music.

Word had spread that Gina had made a threat against Keith.

To, uh, bring some,

some dudes into the neighborhood to do some damage...

to Keith, or anybody
that was around there.

We were told that it was
black and Hispanic people

that were coming
to the neighborhood.

It was basically
a way to identify,

you know, people that were
coming to the neighborhood.


Personally, I wasn't,
I wasn't thinking about race.

I was, I was just there

because my friends were there.

After I was born,

my parents moved me into,
uh, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

My father, he looked at it
as an opportunity

for his children
to get a better education.

At that time,
I guess he could see that,

you know,
the black neighborhoods

and the white neighborhoods
were much different

in terms of how they were
treated economically,

how they were treated,
you know, socially.

Growing up,
people still were raised

with that
segregation mentality.

You know, called me names.

You know.
They called me "nigger," and, you know,

"Can't be here."

So here I am, you know,

trying to figure this out
on my own.

I was a black kid
in a white neighborhood,

and I wanted to be a white kid in a white neighborhood.

My father's an immigrant.

He came to this country
with nothing.

We lived in a, in a,
in a neighborhood where

there was a lot of, uh,
you know, Italian Americans.

And as far as racism,

I, I, me, myself,
I've really never seen it.

You know. And, uh...

that's basically it.

What's your name, please?

Pasquale D. Raucci.

Where were you last night,

August 23rd?
Did you get to 16th Street?

I went to the candy store.

There was a couple of people
standing outside.

When I seen my friends there,
at the candy store,

um, I asked 'em
what was going on,

and they says, uh,
"It's Gina's birthday party,

"and she's inviting blacks
to the birthday party,

"and she's supposed to be
dating somebody,

you know, uh,
one of the black guys."

So I says, "This beef
has to do with you?"

And he says, "No," so I says,
you know, "Let's get outta here."

- Were there other people around?
- Yeah. By the school yard.

- By the school yard?
- Mm-hmm.

So as we were getting
in the car,

somebody says, "They're here.
They're here. The black guys are here."

So we got out of the car.

You came to Brooklyn,
to Bensonhurst,

tonight on the N train, right?

- And you got off at 20th Avenue.

- Uh-huh.
- What happened after that?

Feliciano, would you please raise your right hand?

Do you swear
to tell the truth,

the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth?

Yes, I do.

Thank you,
Ms. Feliciano.

You can put down
your right hand.

If you're looking out your window,
which side of the window? 68th or 20th?


Okay, so the four black guys.

You see them walking down
20th Avenue,

and what did you see them do?

So he was looking up,
I guess,

for the address, or something.
And they thought he was--



So they go...

I think someone
had said that they're here.

And I was sitting there,
I'm sitting there with a radio

and everybody,
everybody went running.

For some reason I, I just,
there was a group of us that stayed back,

'cause we just didn't take it-- we didn't take it seriously.

A group dispersed from
the school yard.

They went by the corner
and they said, uh,

"There's those niggers."
Something like that.

Did they have any, uh,
anything in their hands?

- A couple did.
- What'd they have?


There was a first group
that ran around the corner.

And we was towards the back.

There was a lady
on the corner with her--

she had two small kids.

She was on--
by the pay phone.

Deserio, where were you at approximately 9:25?

I was on the corner of
69th Street

and 20th Avenue,
ready to make a phone call.

So you were standing
in a phone booth.

- Right.
- Okay, and what happened?

I seen a bunch of guys
come around the corner.

There was about 30 or 40
of them.

And all I seen was two guys,
you know, that was ahead of them.

Joey and Keith.

What happened after that?

As he stops,

a bunch of white guys came around from around the corner

and surrounded us.

What were they carrying,
if anything?

Baseball bats.

Okay, what happened
after they surrounded you?

They started shaking
their bats, saying,

"Is this them? Is this them?"

So, they're yelling.

They're still bangin',
bangin' the bats.

Like, "What y'all doin' here?
What y'all niggers doin' here?"

"Oh, y'all tryin'
to talk to our girl?"

I'm like, "What the hell
are you talking about?"

I'm lookin' at Yusuf, like,

"All right.

We might have to
fight our way outta here."

But we're gonna get
our ass beat."

Next thing I know,

I hear gunshots from
diagonally from behind me.

Everybody that surrounded us
took off.

Yusuf comes out the doorway
holding his heart.

And just backs up.

And falls.

I was home at my house
with my oldest son, Freddy,

and his father.

My sister knocked on the door.

And first thing,
she just said, um,

"Yusuf got hurt.
Diane, get your Medicaid card."

In my mind, I said, "Oh.

Probably got hurt out there playing basketball or something like that."

As we're driving along,
'cause it's taking too long to get to the hospital,

in my mind it's like,

I know something
is really not right.

Me, Amir, Walter,

we went down to, um,
to the hospital,

to see what was going on.

We was the first ones there.

So when we got there,

you know, of course,
straight to the point,

the doctor was sayin', "Well,
where's the immediate family?

Where's the mom?
Where's the dad?"

'Cause obviously
I was 14 at the time.

They're not gonna
tell me anything.

So once they showed up,

doctors took them into
a room somewhere,

so we're all in
the waiting area, and...

Doctor came in the room.

Me and my older sister
was in there, and Moses.

And the doctor just came
in the room, he said,

"Your son is dead."
Just like that.

When the door opened,

I'm, I'm, I'm lookin',

and I watch my mom
drop to the floor.

I can still picture her face,
you know, and, um,

I knew it was over.

I can just imagine.

Oh, my God.

And for a long time,

I wasn't there.

But in my mind,
I can just see him laying in the street.

And it's so painful.

Right now,
I can still picture it.

This is craziness.

This should have never
happened to him,

'cause he didn't bother anyone.

So I'm like, "God."

I know he's probably like,

"What the hell has somebody
done this to me for?"

You know, in his mind.

The little bit of life
he still had in him.

So then they finally,
they gave, uh,

they gave us the clearance
to go back to, you know,

to go back to see him after they did what they did, and...

you know, I was,
I was on the way.

Me and Chris was on the way
back to the room,

and halfway down the hall,
I stopped.

Chris said, "Oh,
what's wrong? You're goin'?"

I couldn't do it.

I stopped, and Chris,
Chris took the lead for me.

And Chris, Chris went, so,

you know,
I say we grew up as friends,

but Chris is basically,
he's family.

I was just at the point, well,
you know, I didn't really,

you know, wanna go,
but I, I gotta see.

I gotta see with my own eyes.
And I just went in there,

and, um, looked at his face.

You know, I might have
stayed in there

maybe two, three minutes
just looking at him,

before I left.

You know, we were just,
we wanted answers.

You know, why did this happen,
you know?


When the lead detective came in,
I forgot his name,

he said to us that,
"Keep this quiet."

Because he doesn't want
a riot in the city.

And I said, "Okay."

But the next day,

Yusuf's picture was on
the front page.

So, I mean, that's something
that you couldn't keep quiet.

My grandson.

Shot down in...
shot down in cold blood!

My grandson.

I can't believe this.
I can't believe this. Like...

My brother is dead.

You know?

You know, you don't know
what you would do

until something
happens to you.

Something that you
wouldn't do at all,

turns around,
and you do everything.

Nobody knows what it is until something happens to your child

what you would do.

I'm, I'm,
I'm not gonna say much,

but I would like to
take the opportunity

that's being provided
to this family to tell that

this is not just
our problem anymore.

This is black people's
problem in general.

And it didn't start with my son
being murdered in Bensonhurst.

It started somewhere
in the area of 400 years ago.

My son has been tried,

found guilty, and executed,
all in one day.

In less than an hour's time,
for-for nothing.

Only because of
the color of his skin.

And I just want to ask
New York,

and America, as well,
when is it gonna stop?

You know, where do we go?

I was home. I was living
in downtown Brooklyn.

And, uh,
Anthony Charles who worked with me had answered the phone,

and he said,
"There's a Moses Stewart on the phone."

I said, "Who is Moses Stewart?"

He said, uh, "He says
he's the father of the kid

that got killed in Bensonhurst."

Reverend Sharpton
got on the phone,

and at first I was in
a little disbelief.

I kept saying, "Are you sure
this is Reverend Sharpton?"

And I said, "Yeah."

He said, "You sure?"
I said, "Yeah."

He says, "Well, there are
reporters at my house.

"And they asked me
if I could get anyone

that would speak up for
my family, who would it be?"

And the media could be held responsible
for me meeting Reverend Sharpton,

because they were the ones
who gave me his phone number.

I said, "Well, Mr. Stewart,
you really don't want me.

You know I just had this controversial case with Brawley."

Sharpton grabbed
the national spotlight

when he became the spokesman
for Tawana Brawley...

A black 15-year-old,
raped and abducted, she said,

by six white men,
one of them with a badge.

Those allegations are untrue.

The people who made
those allegations lied.

The Tawana Brawley case
offered an opportunity

for a lot of people,
in regard to Reverend Sharpton,

to say, "See! I told you so.

He's a fake. He's a fraud."

- Go on, Tawana.
- In a confessional...

Black people believed
Tawana Brawley.

Many black people
still believe Tawana Brawley.

Moses Stewart, he told me,

"That's why I want you.
You won't sell us out."

He said, "Would you come and see me,
and let's talk about it."

He kept talking,
and I kept talking, and he says,

"Well, I'll--
I'll see you this afternoon."

So I hung up the phone
and I told Diane, I says,

"Well, Reverend Sharpton,
if that was Reverend Sharpton,

said he's gonna be here
this afternoon."

Let us pray.

Dear God, we come again

with a bereaved family.

Victims of a society

that has not adjusted to learn
how to live with each other.

We come first asking you
to forgive us,

for all of us
have played a role

in this society that is
imperfect and unjust.

And here we stand with a family
that was not activists,

that were not politicians,
that didn't hurt anybody.

A religious and praying

a humble
and hardworking mother.

A diligent and hardworking
and intelligent father

whose son is gone now.

Two brothers left not knowing
what to say or what to do.

We ask you to give us
the strength this week

to not go for the emotions.

Not to go just for bitterness.
That's the easy way out.

But to use Yusuf's death

as a way to stop this madness
once and for all.

And we say, Lord,
take care of Yusuf.

We didn't do what we should have to take care of him,

so you've got him now.
Look out for Yusuf.

Tell him we're sorry that
we didn't protect him better.

Tell him we're sorry we didn't build a better world for him.

Take care of our brother,

and we will try to make sure that his brothers that he left behind

will not ever face
the same fate.

One day, Diane and her mother
told me the whole story.

About Moses having
not been there a lot.

And at one level,
I thought about how my father had left me.

And I understood
the feeling of abandonment

that, uh, Diane felt.

'Cause that was
my mother's feeling,

and I understood
Mrs. Hawkins who had to

provide them with a home.

But I also understand
that sometimes

you gotta let a man
redeem himself.

He deserved a chance
to fight for his son,

to make up for whatever he wasn't there for with his son.

I didn't sleep in my house

for a while, you know.

I was, you know,
next door, and,

you know,
we're going through the motions, you know,

all-day emotional
roller coasters.

Floods of reporters.
Everybody has questions.

I didn't really understand
what was going on.

You know,
a bunch of activists and stuff like this.

I bring to the family

a pledge of love and support,
and sympathy, of course,

from my leader and teacher,
the Honorable Louis Farrakhan.

We feel that, uh, the wanton

and indiscriminate murder
of this black brother of ours

is exemplary of the attitude
that exists in America.

I don't really know
how to deal with all of that.

All I know is, oh,
some white boys killed my brother

'cause they felt like he shouldn't have been on a certain side of town,

so now I'm trying to process,
well, why is that?

Are we ready?

We are making it
a bias incident.

And, uh, as I said earlier, uh,

that the word "nigger" was used.

Not acceptable, whether it was
just a simple bias case,

or a bias case, uh,
complicated, uh, with, uh,

a matter of, um,
a spurned lover.

The white youths thought
he was dating

a white girl from
their neighborhood.

...mistaken belief
one of them

was dating
a local white girl.

They were trying to,
in the media,

act as though Yusuf was killed
with some love triangle.

Yusuf didn't know anybody
to date down there.

None of 'em.
They went down there for a car,

and not to date
any white girls.

We all knew

Bensonhurst that lived
in Brooklyn

knew this was race.

His friends said it was race.

But it was this debate
in the press.

Was it love triangle
or was it race?

So I said to them,

"We should go out there
and march in that neighborhood.

And it'll be clear."

Is there racial tension
in this neighborhood?

No, it ain't ra-- Listen.
Everybody blows it out of proportion.

- It's not racism.
- It's not racial.

These things happen,
you know,

but don't make a big
deal out of it,

'cause now,
if you make a big deal,

you know what's gonna happen.
They're gonna come down,

and we're gonna start,
they're gonna start,

and there's gonna be
a big thing, right?

So, if we keep it low,
and forget about it,

you know,
maybe it'll just die down.

Reverend Sharpton
felt that Diane and I

shouldn't make that march.

Not so soon after our son
had been murdered.

And we had to prepare
for a funeral.

But my two sons,
Amir and Freddy,

went on that very march.

And the things that they told me went on out there,

I said, "Well, you'll never
go out there without me again."

When we arrived there,

we seen a lot of the
neighborhood people out there.

They looked like they was,
you know, ready to, you know, fight,

and it was real, um, intense.

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

How my brother's death
went down,

you know...

People was yelling out his name.

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!
Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

Go home! Go home! Go home!

...cause he knows
you're a bull shittin' liar.

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

They did not want us there.

At all.

They did not want us there.
And they made that known.

Get the fuck outta here!

Come on, motherfucker,
come on!

You fuckin' asshole.

My best friend lost his life
on these streets,

and we're gonna let--
we're gonna let them know that

we're not just
gonna go away quietly.

- -Whose streets?
- Our streets!

- Whose streets?
- Our streets!

- Whose streets?
- Our streets!

- Bullshit!
- Murder!

They killed Yusuf Hawkins

because of the color
of his skin.

Murder! Murder!

Yusuf! Yusuf!
Yusuf! Yusuf!

Keep moving.

Thirty against one, and
you still need bats and guns!

Look at you,
you faggot!

You're faggots!

Fuck you! Fuck you!

Sit your ass over there,
and go to sleep, motherfucker.

Niggers, go home!

I had never, I guess maybe
'cause I was born in the north,

but I had never seen
such unrefined,

open hate in my life.

Yusuf Hawkins took away this veneer they had gotten away with

to the world
as the cosmopolitan New York.

This is not a racist community.
We just don't like black people, that's all.

Rednecks down south
were like this.

Bensonhurst made people say,
"What? New York is like that?"

When somebody say,
"Hey, I'm, I'm not racist."

Okay, you're not racist,

but I'm watching a nine-year-old little boy and girl

stick their middle finger up
and me and say,

"Go home, you 'N.'
You so-and-so-and-so."

So I don't think people
are born like that.

That's something that's taught.

You get showed
that kind of stuff.

In August of '89,

I was sitting in the office,

and we got a call from the
6-2 precinct detective squad

that they had a murder.
They had a homicide.

We had a young black man
shot and killed,

uh, supposedly by a group
of young white youths.

And we had to get to the bottom of this.
What-- what happened?

People that,
uh, were involved,

we knew that they hung out in a candy store around the corner.

We, uh, retrieved a collage
from that candy store.

You know, you're hanging out,
take a picture,

they put it up there.

And we were able to identify almost every person on that collage.

And we then scanned
the neighborhood,

caught a couple
of the young guys,

and brought them in
for an interview.

My lieutenants told me
in the 6-2,

"Go over to 6-1. Uh, they brought Keith in.
Go interview him."

And once we got--
broke the ice,

"I'm so-and-so,
this is so-and-so, blah, blah, blah,"

uh, I started the interview,
and that's when he got a little crusty.

I said, "Listen,
I was born in a neighborhood where you don't talk to the cops.

You know, you don't talk
to nobody."

I said, "Listen, Keith."

You know, "You're a tough kid
out on the street." You know.

"But when you go to Rikers,
you're not gonna be that tough.

"And you're gonna be
somebody's wife.

"And while you're out getting banged by some guy in prison,

"I'm gonna be taking
your girlfriend out for a date.

"That's the reality,
my friend.

That's the reality."

And he looked at me,
and he just,

"Okay, I gotcha."

That's when I found out about the relationship with the girl,

uh, Gina Feliciano.

Yeah, I do.

A lot of people do.

Do you know if there have
been problems in the past

- over there with, with black people?
- No, not really.

Do you know if any
of your friends, uh,

have problems or any of them

don't like black people
being there?

No, it was just that,
they started to hang out

on a, on a small basis,
and then they were there every night,

and then when we walk by,
they would give us dirty looks

and say things to us.
And it's just, you know,

we didn't, we didn't
want that to happen,

but, you know,
we didn't wanna kill 'em.

People should be able
to march anywhere.

And live anywhere,
and go anywhere,

and not have their lives threatened because of their race.

It's so reminiscent of
Emmett Till being killed

on a race-sex motivated,

uh, lynching in Mississippi
in 1955.

And there's a politics
of racial division in this city.

And we will hope that leaders,
political leaders who care,

will stand tall,
and declare that this madness,

this madness must end.

Clearly, one of
the prime concerns

that all of us have,
or should have,

is race relations in our city.

The murder of Yusuf Hawkins

it got at the core of,

there's something
wrong with society,

and frankly, it's time for
an African-American mayor.

I've said throughout
this campaign,

and indeed throughout
the primary that

New York City is not the melting pot that I was taught it was

went I went to grammar school
in Harlem a long time ago.

It's instead a gorgeous mosaic

of persons of varying ethnic backgrounds and religions,

and I say we need to reach out
and try to understand

the backgrounds and heritages
of other peoples.

Hopefully, to come to love one another.
But if not that,

to understand one another,
and with that understanding will come respect.

It was in Dinkins' nature
and character

to believe in
racial reconciliation.

He touted New York as not being disparate and divided,

but rather being a gorgeous mosaic of cultures, uh,
and peoples.

The only problem with that

was that that was
sort of out of touch

with the attitudes
that existed

in the African-American

It was a period when

were experiencing a revival

of black awareness.

- Black consciousness.
- ♪ the way Yusuf Hawkins died ♪

Particularly in Harlem
and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

- Raheem!
- Mook!

By '89, it was the era of
Public Enemy

and "Do the Right Thing."

Da Mayor,
we need your leadership.

Doctor, what are you
talkin' about?

I'm organizing a boycott
of Sal's Famous.

Shit. Keep walking, Doctor.

I don't want to hear none of
your damn black foolishness.


At that point, Dave Dinkins,

he had not succeeded

in inspiring the masses.

So, uh, we discussed

whether or not Dave Dinkins should visit Yusuf Hawkins' family.

I would hope that
in this election,

which only has, what,
two, three weeks to go,

that no one, uh,
will seek to get political benefit from a tragedy.

The Manhattan
borough president

doesn't usually visit the home
of murder victims in Brooklyn.

But David Dinkins
wants to be mayor.

You know, I didn't know
anything about these people.

And here you had them
in your living room.

Dinkins' response,
if I'm not mistaken,

was an election was coming up.

And we need to get out and vote.

And, you know,
get me into office,

and I can do what I need
to do to, you know,

for my people, and this,
that, and the other.

After a half-hour meeting
with the dead youth's family,

and Reverend Al Sharpton,

David Dinkins told how he believes Yusuf Hawkins' killing

relates to the race for mayor.

I don't blame the mayor,

or, or any individual
for, uh, this circumstance,

except to say, all of us,
all of us, each one of us,

uh, bears some responsibility

for trying to make
a better city.

I knew that the attacks
against Yusuf Hawkins

would be a factor
in my contest,

but I, I, I'd like to believe
that we treated it

as we would have had I not been seeking public office.

I'm not happy that we have
the divisions that we have.

And-- and I, I want
to heal them.

I wanna, wanna
bind up the wounds.

This is one of the reasons
I run for office.

Moses didn't want to
get into the politics at all.

He said, "Let Dave Dinkins--

"I don't give a damn
about Dave Dinkins.

I'm talkin' about my son.
I'm talkin' about justice."

My son will never
turn this corner again.

Only because of this.
The pigment of his skin.

Do you understand that?
This is what America must learn.

That we are no longer
gonna take this.

Reverend Al Sharpton
and my father,

I think their goal
was to set out

for justice.

Somebody's gonna pay for this.

Somebody needs to pay for it.

Five white teenagers
have been arrested so far

in this latest racial attack.

They were hustled out of
the local police station

wearing bullet-proof vests

after an anonymous caller
vowed to,

quote, "Get those guys."

So, they're trying to
find the men

who attacked your son.

Were you paying attention
to the news at this time?

Yes, I was looking at it.

With eyes full of tears,
and mind just going,

"Well, what happened? Why did this happen?
Why'd they kill my son?"

I just wanted the person
that pulled the trigger, really.

But then when I heard

everything that was going on
and how...

you know, there's the gathering
of people and stuff,

I kind of wanted all of 'em
to go to jail.

Yusuf Hawkins and his friends,

they walked into what I would call a perfect storm.

A group of white kids

that had really whipped
themselves up into a frenzy

because Gina Feliciano had said
that her black boyfriend

is coming into the neighborhood,
and there's gonna be a riot.

They didn't want black kids
coming into their neighborhood.

For some reason,

Russell was okay.

Um, you know, he's,

"We know you,
so you're okay for a black guy."

Yeah, well, they always got
one nigger that they like.

That's true.

There's always one nigger
that's, that they like.

Any racist mob,

they always got one nigger that they'll pat on the head,
and he's okay.

So I imagine
that's who he was.

Listen, growing up,

in a white neighborhood
not having any black friends,

can't help but deal with
an identity crisis.

I could block it out
as much as I wanted to,

and it's going to end up
catching up with me.

Um, and it did.

...he said-- told us that there was gonna be a fight here tonight.

Gina was bringing down, uh,

20 of her black and Puerto Rican friends to fight with us.

Where'd you go?

And what'd you do there?

You brought the bats?

Yeah, I had the bats.

I didn't bring, you know,
the bats weren't there for the specific reason,

for, for that specific reason.

They were available
because, because of, uh,

the fact that we were
gonna play a game that night.

It's not like we gave
them out and said,

"Here's a bat for you
and here's a bat for you."

The bats were something that,

that held these
young men in place.

I mean,
they couldn't run away.

They were surrounded by
white kids with bats.

There was no place to go.

Keith Mondello, Pasquale Raucci,
and Charlie Stressler,

all charged with assault, riot,
aggravated harassment,

violation of civil rights,
and possession of a weapon.

In this case, baseball bats.

But it was a gun, not a bat,
that killed Yusuf Hawkins Wednesday night.

The shooter of that gun
is still at large.

One of the individuals
being sought for questioning

in connection with the homicide of Yusuf Hawkins

is Joseph Fama

of 177371st Street, Brooklyn.

He is described as a male,
white, 19 years of age.

5-foot, 9-inches tall, medium build,
and short black hair.

I gotta just ask you flat out,

who killed Yusuf Hawkins?

I don't know who shot
Yusuf Hawkins.

But it, it wasn't my friends.

And it, it wasn't me.

I was just a young kid,
curious what's going on.

Listen, mere presence
is not guilt.

You know, if that's the case,
then 30 other people are guilty.

You know, I'm a kid.

18 years old.

I was scared.

And I went home, changed,

and, uh, I went upstate.

It's crazy. I hitch-hiked
all the way up there.

I was trying to get away furthest possible as,
you know,

from the city.

I know it looks bad,

but if you didn't do it,
you know,

it's, you're,
you're trying to get away from the problem, you know?

Martin Luther King
used to say,

"You gotta make the
comfortable uncomfortable,

and you've gotta make the
uncomfortable comfortable."

You can't let people

in the season of killing a black young man in their neighborhood

just go through business
as usual.

And have the false premise,

"Well, that's over with now.
We're having our festival."

Oh, no.
You have your festival.

But guess who's comin'
to the festival?

Whose streets? Our streets!
Whose streets? Our streets!

Whose streets?
Our streets!

Whose streets? Our streets!
Whose streets? Our streets!

The first march,

with the venom
and the ugliness,

and the threats,
that was, that was steroids.

Stop selling crack!

We let 'em come through once.

How many times have they
gotta disturb our neighborhood?

Some of the behavior
out there was just...

I mean, it's like,
unbelievable how people acted out.

So, I don't know if it's
the depth of the racism.

I know it's ignorance.

You stupid niggers!

- ...shit.
- That's right. That's right! That's right.

- Come here alone!
- That's right, baby.

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

I think the problem, though,

was that the people who aren't involved in being racist pigs...

...couldn't get it
together enough

to make a different
kind of statement.

This is not a, uh,
community, uh,

that, uh, should be described
as a racist community.

I, uh, urge that people

not engage in marches,
uh, into communities.

The reason is,
the community thinks it then

is the, uh, perpetrator
of the violence,

and I don't think, uh,
that any community can be branded that way.

Don't come in here
and disturb us!

Fama! Fama! Fama!

Let's quit playing with ourself.

Let's not come with denial that, "Oh,
it wasn't me. I didn't see it."

And that boy got killed.
And the reason we came,

is we knew that people in that neighborhood knew who did it,

and we were right.
They gave 'em up after a few weeks.

They hid him for a good while.

But we made so much stink,
they had to bring him out.

It's a mobbed-up neighborhood,

Everybody knows that.

Law-abiding businesses
and illegal businesses

were being hurt
by these marches.

And you know, uh,

mob ruling is,
if you're gonna hurt us financially,

we're gonna help
solve the case.

A meeting was held
at Tally's Pool Hall

in Bensonhurst.

And it was headed up
by Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.

When it was said to Gravano,

that Fama, who was missing,

was the person who had shot
Yusuf Hawkins,

Gravano said,
"Then you have to give him up."

The teenager who allegedly
fired four shots at Hawkins

pleaded not guilty to murder

after surrendering to police
the day before.

As one of the teenager's attorneys spoke with reporters,

activist Al Sharpton and the victim's father began yelling.

You tear the whole city up

- to let some racist punks go.
- No, no, no. You are.

You are. I'm not
tearing anybody up.

He be tearing the whole city up
for these racist punks.

Your clients killed my son.

Should have a conscience.

Because of the...

the heat that was
coming out of this city,

it was, it was, like,
you know, you're watching

the whole city be divided
by something.

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

This was a murder

that was shaking
the foundations of the city.

- Who'd they kill?
- Yusuf!

- Who'd they kill?
- Yusuf!

The outrage that a bunch
of teenage kids

go to get a car,
and one gets murdered?

In, in a, in a very divisive
racial climate.

Yusuf's death was so public.

So, you know,
you could just be doing

your normal routine in life,

you see his picture on a newspaper or in a magazine.

You're not looking at it
as that's your life

until that becomes your life.

You know,
and you don't expect to be in the dead heart middle of it.

You know, it's,
it's in your face now.

It's sitting right on
your own doorstep.

That's when we started
gettin' everybody.

Everybody hit my
grandmother's house.

I couldn't tell what was
going on upstairs or downstairs.

That's how, you know,
I mean, it was like that

every day for a long time.

We had so many people
coming by the house.

Politicians, rappers, actors.

I mean, you name it.
You had them just coming to the house.

Whether you want it or not,

you're considered a role model
in our community.

Any advice, considering that
racial tensions are strained

right now in New York City?

Well, I think that the most important thing we have to do is vote.

The primary and election
coming up in November,

and get Koch out of here
because I think that his hand--

you could say his finger
was on the trigger, too.

I mean,
he's used racial polarization to get elected.

And I think it's, you know,
it's backfired,

and now the city's polarized
like it's never been.

The funeral was,
was enormous.

That street was packed.

We drove in a limo
and we drove up to the church,

I couldn't believe how many people were there to support Yusuf,

and the family.

It was unbelievable.

It just...

I mean,
I've never said anything,

but everybody that showed up
for Yusuf's funeral,

on that day,

it just, it meant everything
in the world to me.

You know,
everything was so...

emotional, and it was--

Everything was just too big
to pay attention to.

This funeral was
a place where

you know, Koch had to be.


Get out of here! Ya bum!

Dinkins had to be.

Well, Farrakhan's gonna be--
He's gonna be speaking.

Well, it's too bad.

Uh, we may not like him,

but this is one of those
seminal moments

when you have to be there.

♪ Turn me around ♪

♪ Turn me around ♪

♪ Keep on walking ♪

♪ Keep on talking ♪

♪ Marching up to freedom land ♪

It is a great honor
and privilege for me

to have been asked
by my brother,

the father of Yusuf,

to come and share
this moment with you.

Funeral services are not
really for the dead.

That's right.

Funeral services are
instructions for the living.

God sometimes

uses the innocent...

That's right. give a message
to the guilty.


He takes the life of one...

that is pure.

To save those...

who are impure.

This is not to
hurt your feelings.

This is not to throw stones.

But this is to say
to those in power...

Yes, come on!
- ...while power is in your hands...

- Use it!
- justice.

So, whether we are Muslim
or Christian...

- Yes!
-'s irrelevant.

They didn't ask Yusuf

whether you're Muslim
or whether you're Christian.

They didn't ask Yusuf

whether you a Democrat
or are you a Republican?

All they saw was a black face.



- Yes.
- Yes.

Come on!

Yusuf! Yusuf!
Yusuf! Yusuf!

Yusuf Hawkins became
a symbol of something.

He was perceived by many
to be a martyr.

Moses was very comfortable

being the person
that was in front

with Reverend Sharpton
locking arms.

Uh, Diane,

Yusuf's mother,

never appeared comfortable.

Now, if his mother have
anything to say,

you can talk to her.

I can't speak.
I don't have anything--

Excuse me, excuse me.

I-- Okay, I--

quietly thank and appreciate

all the support
that's coming to me

from the death of my son,
which was a good kid.

And it hurts me so bad,
and I just--

I have nothing else to say.
Thank you.

I was a lost case.

I was like on
another planet somewhere.

I didn't know what to think.
I, all I--

My mind was just focusing on
the loss of my son.

That was it.

I believe I cried for like
six months straight.

I mean, every day,
every day, every day.

And it made me, like,
afraid of everything. Paranoid.

I couldn't go to the store
by myself.

I definitely couldn't
ride on the train by myself.

I was afraid of
everything around me.

I didn't go back to school
for a few days.

When I went back to school,

everybody knew.

I don't think I didn't
make it through...

my first class...

before the principal,

the guidance counselor,

called me in the office
and they was talking to me.

Asking me how I feel,

if there's anything
they could do for me.

I didn't...

accept their help.

I just told them
everything was fine,

and I just kept doing
what I was doing.

If black folks come out
in massive numbers

on September the 12th
and send a proper message,

then I think that, uh,
Yusuf Hawkins will not have died in vain.

This year, New Yorkers
might not be particularly

interested in positions
or plans

after years of growing hostility between the races.

They might opt, instead,
for a symbol of reconciliation,

of bringing together
this divided city,

and perhaps providing
some peace and quiet.

David! David! David! David!

I see New York

as a gorgeous mosaic
of race and religious faith.

This administration will never
lead by dividing,

by setting some of us
against the rest of us.

I intend to be the mayor
of all the people of New York.

No peace for racists!

No peace for racists!
No peace for racists!

Listen to the sound,
read the headlines,

and the message
is loud and clear.

New York is a city seemingly on the verge of a racial apocalypse.

Predictions of riots,
should juries find a pair of defendants

in the alleged racial killing
of Yusuf Hawkins

in Bensonhurst
not guilty.

Yusuf! Yusuf!

We talked, and I tried to
prepare them for the worst.

I said, "I don't care
what the DA says.

"We could walk out of here
with nothing.

This is a system
that doesn't always work."

And I think that
they were prayerful,

but prepared for acquittals.

And, uh, then we headed
to the court.

On trial at the same time
as Joseph Fama,

but with a separate jury,
is Keith Mondello, also 19.

He is accused of organizing the gang that attacked the young blacks.

There was two people on trial,
all right?

Uh, the shooter,

and basically the person
they were characterizing

as the ringleader,
all right?

And, you know, it's-- be--
it would be hard to dispute

either, either characterization,
all right?

And I don't think I ever really tried to dispute that characterization.

Just me being there,
uh, doesn't

say that I'm guilty, okay?

And everyone has portrayed me

as some racist killer,
which I'm not.

If they evaluate the evidence,

they'll realize it wasn't
a racial case.

That, uh, it had nothing
to do with race.

I don't think anyone
would want a lawyer that

when the trial starts, saying,
"Yeah, it was racism."

He didn't go there
to kill anyone,

and he didn't use the bat.
He never lifted it off his shoulder.

You'd have to be stupid to not

determine that there was a,

a racist element to the
whole thing to begin with.

In his opening statement
against Mondello,

prosecutor James Kohler said the defendant was enraged

at a former girlfriend
for inviting black

and Hispanic boys
to her birthday party,

and that Mondello threatened to, quote,
"Shoot the niggers."

His attorney countered not so much by defending his client,

but by attacking the credibility of Mondello's former girlfriend.

That brought back
a lot of hurt, you know,

and I didn't want to say--

I was hesitating to say it
into the courtroom.

But it did come out eventually,
but it came out mostly in tears.

Gina Feliciano is the one

who caused the whole incident
to occur.

- Gina's not on trial.
- Gina ain't on trial!

She ain't on trial.
Mondello is.

Keith Mondello,
who they believed was the ringleader,

fingered Fama as the gunman.

But as a co-defendant,
that part of his confession

could not be used
in Fama's trial.

You testified that
you saw Joe Fama

shoot, uh, the black person.


When you testified to it,
did you believe it?


If you didn't believe it

in your own mind,
why did you testify to it?

Well, when you said
I believed it, I, I, I,

I thought I,
I thought I was there.

But I found out myself...

I wasn't really there
at the time.

Like, uh, maybe 'cause
I got a problem, you know,

and maybe I don't have
a problem any more,

but maybe
then I had a problem.

When you say "then,"
you mean in August of 1989?

Yeah. Maybe 'cause I just got out of the hospital.
I wasn't feeling well.

They couldn't be touched,

because they were affiliated
somewhat with the mob.

That's what we were hearing.

So there was some intimidation.

Did you see Fama
in the courtroom?

Yeah, I did.

And what did he
look like to you?

He just--
He just didn't care.

Like, no sense of remorse
at all.

When the trial was going on,

and they showed
those pictures of my son,

you know, what happened
and stuff like that,

I had to leave the courtroom.

I couldn't stand there
and watch those pictures.

I'm telling you
that if this case

comes out of that courtroom
with anything less

than six men going to jail,

then somebody better tell
the devil in Hell

that Moses Stewart is comin'.

I didn't have that in me to,

to get out there
in the forefront

and speak like Moses
and Sharpton.

Mrs. Stewart, if I might,

have you had a conversation
with, uh...

It took a whole--
a big toll on me

to do those things, but...

I did do it.

I'd just like to say
I want justice,

and goddamn it, I demand it,

'cause I'm tired of being
treated this way.

It's very unfair.

That's all I have to say.

We would like the mayor

and others that have
called for racial harmony

to show now a commitment
to racial justice,

and to join the family
in Bensonhurst on Saturday.

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

I've never been to nothing
like that in my life before.

What were your thoughts
about Yusuf during the march?

We're out here for you.

But still it hurts so bad,

we, we had to do this.

Moses, Sharpton and I,
we had to do this, yeah.

To try to get a point across,
you know.

Yusuf! Yusuf!

Yusuf! Yusuf!
Yusuf! Yusuf!

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

You do not get a gorgeous
mosaic with speeches.

You get it by
confronting reality.

Racism is alive.

Free the boys
from Bensonhurst.

Al Sharpton, we clearly,

his, his behavior
and his actions,

were different than mine.

We must repress our, our rage,

channel our energies
and come together

to make this tragedy

I'm trying to govern
an entire city,

and keep the peace,
as it were.

Our lives are at stake.

We're doing what Dr. King
would have done.

He would not be hiding
behind flags in City Hall.

He would do what he did
in other cities.

He'd be in the street
with the victims' mothers,

asking for somebody
to understand our pain.

We may not express it
the way you like,

but, damn it,
it's the only way we know how to say it.

Reverend Al,
how many more marches?

How many more marches?

You'll find out in Brooklyn
at the courthouse.

Joseph Fama has been found guilty of murder in the second degree,

which is depraved murder.
Depraved indifference to human life.

- Yes!
- Yeah!



Joseph Fama cried,

but said nothing as
Justice Thaddeus Owens

that the 19-year-old,

convicted of killing
Yusuf Hawkins,

would spend 32 and two-thirds years to life.

Fama's father Rocco
shouted and cursed,

most of it in Italian.

You see your parents there,

and it was, you know,
it was a mess.

I guess it would be a mess
for any family,

to see their son
getting sentenced, uh,

for something they didn't do.

It was a strong case.

It was upheld on appeal,
to the Appellate Division.

It was held up on appeal
to the Court of Appeals.

Um, and, I, I,
I sleep well at night

knowing that Joe Fama
was convicted and is in jail.

That day was a, was a
great day then, you know.

But that's just
the temporary relief.

He's going behind cell bars.

My brother went in the grave.

He don't have the option
to breathe no more.

He don't have the option
to talk anymore.

Your, your, your mother,
she could come see her son.

It's a great relief

that Fama came out guilty

in the killing of my son,
Yusuf Hawkins.

But that's, that's beyond

of what I'm feeling deeply inside for the loss of my son.

Because I cannot go to him,
and touch him, and...

can't be with him,
and he can't be with his mother.

There are more shouts.

Verdict is coming now. Let's stay with it.
Get down on the podium.

The verdict is coming now.

Uh, David Bookstaver
will be coming into this room.

Here he comes now.
Let's listen to David Bookstaver.

No minutes.
We're going now.

The first, uh, charge,

intentional murder
- not guilty.

Second charge,
manslaughter in the first degree:

not guilty.

Murder in the second degree,

not guilty.

- not guilty.


The Hawkins family,
along with Al Sharpton,

uh, Moses Stewart,

Hawkins' mother and father
just went through.

They clearly have
what they consider to be

a travesty of justice.

Excuse me, brother.
Blow your horn.

They found Mondello not guilty.

Burn Bensonhurst!
Burn Bensonhurst!

Get out of here!

Get out of here!
Get out of here!

Keith Mondello got off
not guilty,

and there was, um,
a lot of media on the block,

you know, where we grew up.

Certain individuals didn't
want to be interviewed,

but they were so angry.

It got violent. It did.

Our correspondent Ed Miller

was later treated
for facial cuts,

a back injury,
and a possible broken nose.

It was a very, you know,
dark moment,

but, you know,
I could understand the frustration.

Another television crew
fled the scene

with the mast on top
of the remote truck still up.

It struck a power line,
causing damage to the truck,

and blacking out the block.

Hey, hey!

While I will be the first
to uphold a person's right

to demonstrate regarding
perceived injustice,

I want it to be clear that
anyone who abuses that right

by engaging in lawless activity

will be subject to the fullest
legal sanctions.

- No justice...
- No peace!

- No justice...
- No peace!

- No justice!
- No peace!

I went out and said that
we are not the violent ones.

We are not people
that want equality

in depravity.

Uh, I don't know how, uh,
one jury can find Fama guilty,

and the ringleader
not be guilty.

It was a very, uh, bad night
for the Hawkins family.

And it's a very bad night
for the black community.

I said don't disparage,
don't kill Yusuf's name

by reducing him to
a cause of a riot.

No justice, no peace!

Make his name resonate

that if people stand up
with dignity and persistence,

they can get justice.

That's what Yusuf's name
should represent in history.

A day after Keith Mondello was found not guilty of murder,

demonstrators led by
the Reverend Al Sharpton

marched through a three-block
area of Bensonhurst

near the spot where 16-year-old Yusuf Hawkins was killed last August.

Yusuf! Yusuf!
Yusuf! Yusuf!

We kept marching,

because there were still others that were not indicted.

And the sentences were not done to the level that we wanted.

Yusuf! Is dead!
Yusuf! Is dead!

I looked up the
civil rights leaders.

You know, Sharpton
wasn't even on that list.

You Google it,
he's not even there.

Men like that,

they do more damage.

And maybe they think
they're doing good.

But when you instigate
a neighborhood

to prove that the neighborhood
is racist,

you're not being
part of the solution.

You're creating more problems.

Yusuf did lose his life

because of the color
of his skin.

But not because Bensonhurst is a racist,
vigilante neighborhood,

trying to keep
colored people out.

That is not true.

No justice, no peace!
No justice, no peace!

The "no justice, no peace"
stuff, and all that,

there was justice.

And after justice,
there should have been peace.

We will be back,
and that is a fact!

We will be back,
and that is a fact!

We would always go in what
they had as a frozen zone

behind the school,

and the police would line up.

And I saw this kind of
blurred blue pass me.

And I felt somebody, like,
punch me in the chest.

And everybody looked and said,
"That guy punched Rev."

Reverend, you all right?

Get an ambulance!

And I looked down
and I saw this knife

sticking out of my chest.

When I grabbed it,
blood started gushing,

and Moses starts screaming,
"He hit him! He stabbed him!"

He's going,
"Oh, he shot him!"

Some of our guys grabbed at the guy,
started hitting the guy,

and the police came
and started hitting them

to get them off of the guy
that stabbed me.

All right, Reverend Sharpton

is on the way to the hospital.

We came out here to march,
and we're gonna march.

They're not gonna stop us
no matter what they do.

No justice, no peace!
No justice, no peace!

I remember I'm laying
in the recovery room,

after surgery,
and I kind of look up,

and, uh, I'm still trying
to figure out what happened.

I didn't know how serious it was.
I knew I was stabbed.

And, uh, Dave Dinkins
pulled his mask down,

and almost immediately, uh,

Mayor Dinkins says,
"We need you to call for peace."

And I teased him, uh, later,

and said that when I woke up
out of this and saw you all,

I thought I had died
and went to Hell.

Some say why keep marching

even in the face
of these attacks.

Well, as long as the killers
of Yusuf Hawkins are home,

I'm gonna march.

As long as we've got
one set of laws

in the Brooklyn court
for Bensonhurst,

and another set of laws in the Manhattan court for Central Park,

- I'm gonna march!
- Yeah!

As Martin had his men
in his day,

Jesus had a Peter.

Muhammad had an Omar.

Well, Sharpton's got a Moses.

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

Yusuf! Yusuf!

If we never started marching,

if we, if, you know,
if we never started

coming together
as a community,

maybe, just maybe,
the outcome would have been different.

Maybe nobody wouldn't have went to jail,
as far as we know.

You know, there's always strength in numbers.
We all know that.

So I think when you start to get enough people to show support,

you're gonna get
a different outcome.

You're gonna, you're gonna get
a different outcome every time.

♪ Thinking about you baby ♪

♪ I think it's time for me
to go on my own way ♪

♪ Said I'm giving up ♪

♪ Thinking about you baby ♪

♪ I think it's time for me
to go on my own way ♪

Every last one of them
should have got some jail time.

Hey, if they was black,
they would have all got life.

After that happened,
I was ready to

leave then. I was like,
I can't do New York.

I'm glad I did,
because, you know,

I just needed
a breath of fresh air.

I would rather have
my buddy here, you know?

Um, but at the same token,
you know,

life goes on, and I know
he wouldn't want me to just

sit here not being
productive in my life.

I owe him to, to that.


I don't think you ever
get over it.

I don't think you ever
get over it.

And, you know,
you have to become either stronger,

or you let it take you.

Yusuf, he had dreams.

He wanted to go, you know,
that's why he, um,

he applied to go to,
um, Transit Tech.

He might have would,

would have wanted to be
an engineer or something.

Train conductors.
Things like that, you know?

Maybe he would have wanted
to play basketball.

You know, he had dreams.

I wished I had more time
to grieve for my son's death.

'Cause I really didn't grieve.
Didn't have time to.

Happy birthday, Yusuf.

Happy birthday, son.

Because a lot of things
was going on.

The marches, the courts,

the trials.

I was being
a little pressured to,

like, "Stop crying."
You know. "Be strong."

You know. And I tried.

I did what I,
what I knew best.

But at times, I just broke down.

That was me.
I was being myself.

Moses felt that
I was being weak.

And of course he was angry.

I was, too. I was angry.

Hurt. Devastated.
All of that.

It was hard for me,

because I was on my own,
ever since he left.

I mean, you know,

he was coming back and trying to tell me what to do.

It's... mm-mm.

Not for me. I'm my own woman.

My own apartment,
my name on the lease.

Nobody come and tell me
what to do. I'm sorry. No.

So, he couldn't take that,
so he had to go.

We went our separate ways.

It says, uh,

"Amir, I'm not good at,
at writing letters,

"so this will be short.
I just want to say that,

"I am very proud of you, son.

"I know we, we never
really had a chance to...

"to bond deeply.

"Amir, I have always
wanted to be with you,

"and your brothers,
Freddy and Yusuf,

"but things did not
work out that way.

"Amir, if you ever
need me for anything,

"please call me or write me,
or just...

"come to me, son.
I will be there for you.

"Remember, I love you, son,

"and if, and if you call,
I will come.

Your father and brother,
Moses Freddie Stewart."

For a long time,

I always...

thought I should have died
instead of Yusuf.

One day, I
kind of woke up...

and looked in the mirror.

And I could hear Yusuf's voice, like,
"What are you doing?"

Oh, man.

I'm like, "What do you mean?"

He's like, "This is not you.

"You survived.

"Keep on living.

"Do the best you can for you.

And just keep me in your heart
and keep me in your memory."

He's gonna live on
through all of us.

He's gonna live on
through all of us,

and, you know,
we're not gonna let him go away.

He's not gonna go away.

Couple more, guys.

This is even better.
I like this even more.

Very nice.
Let me get a few more.

Looking at me.

Looking good, guys.
Let's keep that going.

Yusuf! Yusuf!
Yusuf! Yusuf!

Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf! Yusuf!

Yusuf! Yusuf!
Yusuf! Yusuf!