A group of four Black boys entered the neighborhood of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn on 23 August 1989 to look at a used car which was up for sale. Bensonhurst was a predominantly white neighborhood. Blacks were not welcome in Bensonhurst.
Yussuf and his friends were met by a group of 10-30 White teenagers with baseball bats. They claimed that one of the Black teenagers was dating a White girl from their neighborhood.
During the encounter Yussuf Hawkins was shot by one of the White teenagers.
He had no connection to the White girl.