His murder brought a community to its feet and a city to its knees.
Directed by Muta'Ali, Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyntells the story of a black American teenager who was shot and murdered after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on the evening of August 23, 1989.
Sixteen-year-old Hawkins had come to Bensonhurst with three friends to look at a used car when they were attacked by the hostile mob, whose members mistakenly believed that Hawkins was dating a white neighbourhood girl. The incident shocked New York and the country, resulting in long-simmering racial tensions finally reaching a boiling point, as protestors and counter-protestors took to the streets where the crime occurred.
Leading the movement in Yusuf's name, along with Reverend Al Sharpton, was Yusuf's father, seeking redemption for his absence in Yusuf's childhood by demanding justice for his death. As the trials of the murder suspects raged on, the community continued to march with the hope that their voices could finally change the script and that justice would be served.