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Farrakhan Says ‘Never Again’ at Funeral for Racial Violence Victim

August 30, 1989 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Mourners packed a church and the street outside Wednesday to remember a black teen-ager killed last week by a white gang, cheering as the Rev. Louis Farrakhan and others demanded an end to racial violence.

″We say, as the Jews say, ‘Never again. Never again. Never again,‴ the Black Muslim leader said to cheers and applause from more than 300 people attending Yusef Hawkins’ funeral at Glover Memorial Baptist Church.

About 1,000 people stood outside singing hymns and listening to eulogies for Hawkins, 16, who was shot to death in the predominantly white Brooklyn neighborhood of Bensonhurst a week ago.


The service began an hour after two white Brooklyn youths, including one identified as the gang’s leader, were charged with murder. Both remained free on bail.

Police continued hunting for an 18-year-old man believed to be the triggerman.

″As long as white children can get away with killing black children, and white law enforcement does not know how to make examples of its own ... then justice is far off,″ Farrakhan said.

While none of the speakers advocated violence, the Rev. Al Sharpton indicated the time for a passive response to such incidents had passed.

″We’re not going to let you down. They’re going to pay this time, Yusef,″ said Sharpton. ″It’s time for us to change our ways. We can run a man for the White House, but we can’t walk a child through Bensonhurst.″

Hawkins’ slaying triggered a racial furor in New York unseen since a black man died fleeing a white mob in the Howard Beach section of Queens.

″Let freedom ring from Howard Beach, Mr. Mayor,″ the Rev. Curtis Wells, pastor of the church and a cousin of the victim, said, addressing Mayor Edward I. Koch. ″Let freedom ring from Bensonhurst. We’re not going to take it anymore. We’re going to walk where we want to walk.″

Hawkins and three friends were answering an ad for a used car when up to 30 whites carrying bats, golf clubs and at least one gun, confronted them and killed him, authorities said.

Koch and Gov. Mario Cuomo, both Democrats, and Republican mayoral hopeful Rudolph Giuliani were heckled outside the church. The mayor left through a side door.

Democratic mayoral candidates Harrison J. Goldin and David Dinkins also attended the funeral. Dinkins, who is black, was welcomed as he entered the church.


Spike Lee, the director and star of the racial-issue film ″Do The Right Thing,″ sat near Hawkins’ parents.

Some mourners distributed fliers calling for a demonstration Thursday to protest Hawkins’ slaying.

Earlier, a grand jury charged Keith Mondello, 18, and Pasquale Raucci, 19, with second-degree murder and Raucci with manslaughter. Bboth were charged with first-degree assault, riot, criminal possession of a deadly weapon, civil-rights violations, aggravated harassment, menacing and unlawful imprisonment.

Mondello was the gang’s alleged leader. Four others were charged in the attack.