Death of Yusef Hawkins Event

Yusef Hawkins (also spelled as Yusuf Hawkins, March 19, 1973 – August 23, 1989) was a 16-year-old African American youth who was shot to death on August 23, 1989 in Bensonhurst, a predominantly Italian-American working-class neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Hawkins and three friends were attacked by a crowd of 10 to 30 Italian-American youths, with at least seven of them wielding baseball bats. One, armed with a handgun, shot Hawkins twice in the chest, killing him. Hawkins had gone to Bensonhurst that night with three friends to inquire about a used 1982 Pontiac automobile that was for sale. The group's attackers had been lying in wait for black or Hispanic youths they believed were dating a white neighbor. Police later said Hawkins was not involved with the girl. Hawkins' killing was the third killing of a black man by mobs in New York City during the 1980s; the other two victims were Willie Turks, who was killed on June 22, 1982 in Brooklyn, and Michael Griffith, who was killed in Queens on December 20, 1986.


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