The murder of a black teenager in a white Brooklyn neighborhood in 1989 made headlines and created a deeper divide in the city.

Sixteen-year-old Yusuf Hawkins from East New York Brooklyn went to Bensonhurst with some friends to go car shopping when he was attacked by a mob of white youths and fatally shot. Now, his story is being told in an HBO documentary called "Storm Over Brooklyn".

What You Need To Know

  • A new documentary revisits the 1989 killing of Yusuf Hawkins

  • The HBO documentary is called “Storm Over Brooklyn”

  • The film features never-before-seen footage and interviews

  • Film Director Muta’Ali is also involved in online campaign to co-name a Brooklyn street for Hawkins

"In '89, the mayoral election for Mayor of New York was taking place shortly after Yusuf was killed. And you also have Rev. Al Sharpton who became involved. Yusef's father called Reverend Sharpton the day after Yusuf was murdered and asked him to help represent the family and seek justice," says film director Muta’Ali.

Sharpton was stabbed in one of the marches.

More than a news flashback, the film features never-before-seen footage and interviews, including Hawkins' mother and a friend who was there the night of the killing. 

"Yusef's friend Luther Sylvester, who has not talked about being attacked that night in Bensonhurst in 30 years, did so for us on camera," says the filmmaker.

It follows the trials of those arrested. Muta'Ali sits down with the only one still in prison, Joseph Fama. 

Ali draws comparisons between the Hawkins tragedy three decades ago and the the current Black Lives Matter movement.

"In Yusuf's case, the family and Reverend Sharpton marched through Bensonhurst for over a year and a half from August '89 to January 1991," the director says. "And through the marching, they caused enough trouble in Bensonhurst that the residents of Bensonhurst actually ended up turning over some of Yusuf's attackers, and there was a semblance of justice served."

Hawkins memory is preserved on a Brooklyn mural on Verona Place, which the director is hoping to get co-named with a campaign.

The film debuts on HBO August 12.