Lies Lead to Murder: The New York Times and the Crown Heights Riots

The riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in the summer of 1991, started after a Hasidic Jewish man accidentally swerved his car onto a sidewalk and fatally injured a black youngster named Gavin Cato.  Claiming that the Jews were receiving preferential medical treatment at the scene of the accident, residents of the neighboring black community started to riot.  According to the New York Times, "the racial melee erupted after rumors spread among blacks that a private Hasidic ambulance had carried off 3 Hasidic men but had ignored the black child and his severely injured cousin."  The same day, as a result of the rioting, a black mob attacked and killed 29-year-old Hasidic scholar named Yankel Rosenbaum. Regarding Yankel Rosenbaum's murder, William McGowan observes in a 1993 article: The treatment columnists and editorialists gave Rosenbaum's killing stood in stark contrast with their response to the racially motivated murder of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager, in...(Read Full Article)