Yusef Hawkins, a 16-year-old Brooklyn boy, was killed August 23, 1989 in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York by an angry white mob. Bensonhurst, a predominantly Italian neighborhood, became the center of attention and the target of several race-related protests led by religious and civic leaders such as Rev. Al Sharpton.
On that fateful day, Hawkins and two friends went to Bensonhurst to see about purchasing a used 1982 Pontiac. Once there, Keith Mondello, then 19, and a reported 10 to 30 others armed with baseball bats, golf clubs, and other weapons ambushed them.
Mondello was the ringleader of the mob, who incorrectly thought that Hawkins was there to confront him. Mondello had a conflict with a crack addict who had threatened him.
Over the years, the specifics have changed, but what is generally understood is that a gunman in the group fired four shots and struck Hawkins twice in the chest. Mondello and alleged gunman Joey Fama were charged as the leaders of the mob.
Fama was convicted of second-degree murder May 17, 1990. Mondello was acquitted of murder chargers on May 18 of that year, but convicted on 12 other charges including riot, menacing and discrimination among others.
Mondello’s acquittal led Sharpton to further ramp up protest efforts, after already marching dozens of times in Bensonhurst since August 25th of that year. The racial tensions in Brooklyn and across the nation were high, and the climate helped lead to the election of David Dinkins as New York City’s first Black mayor.
In January 1991, Sharpton was stabbed by a Bensonhurst man named Michael Riccardi. Sharpton spoke at Riccardi’s attempted murder trial and asked the judge to be lenient. Mondello was paroled in 1998, and in recent years, he has expressed remorse for his role in the death of Hawkins.
Now married and a sociologist, Mondello told the New York Daily News that the death of Hawkins left him with a “broken heart.” Fama, on the other hand, claims that he was not the shooter. Regardless, he is still behind bars, and won’t be eligible for parole until 2020. Hawkins’ mother, Diane, says she has not forgiven her son’s killers.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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