HBO Film Storm Over Brooklyn to Document Murder of Black Teen Yusuf Hawkins

Screenshot: National Action Network (Facebook)

As part of a new initiative to promote diversity, HBO will tell the story of Yusuf Hawkins in the film Storm Over Brooklyn. Hawkins was the black teenager who was trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, and shot to death in 1989.


Actor and cinematographer Muta’Ali will explore the crime and how it led to marches and protests as well as the election of David Dinkins as mayor of New York City. He remains the city’s first and only African-American mayor.

“Yusuf Hawkins’ murder had a major effect on the public, and the locked away regret and sorrow questions a history that those involved have held on to for nearly 30 years,” Muta’Ali said in a press release. “We will finally see the light of day in the context of our time.”


The idea for the documentary was the inaugural winner of a feature-documentary-development initiative created by LA 92 producer Lightbox and the American Black Film Festival.

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Montana Couser

Montana Couser is a recent Howard University grad and Philly native.