Memorial commemorates 30th anniversary of Crown Heights riots

Thursday, August 19, 2021
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Community members held a memorial 30 years after the Crown Heights race riots.

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn -- A memorial was held in Brooklyn to commemorate the deaths that sparked the Crown Heights Race Riots 30 years ago.

The memorial was held at the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and President Street on Wednesday night.

Black and Jewish residents clashed after two Guyanese immigrants were accidentally struck by a car following a motorcade for a Jewish leader on Aug. 19, 1991.

Gavin Cato, 7, was killed and the other child was severely injured.

Three hours after the accident, Black youths attacked several Jewish people and killed 29-year-old rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum who was from Australia.

Rioting erupted after their deaths.

Ultimately, Black and Jewish leaders developed an outreach program to help calm and improve racial relations.

"My dear friends, yes the truth is there is still a job to be done, what has to be done, and if we all do just a little bit, if we all do one act of kindness, one act of goodness, we can actually change the entire world," one speaker said.

Before Rosenbaum died, he identified a teenager as the person who stabbed him. That teen was later acquitted of murder.

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