The murder that shocked a city and nation and how our justice system works at its best.
Late on the night of December 19, 1986, four black men were driving through the all-white community of Howard Beach, in the New York City borough of Queens, when their car broke down. By the early hours of the next morning, one of them lay dead on the Belt Parkway and one had been beaten nearly to death with a tree limb and a baseball bat by a dozen local teenagers. In the months to come, "Howard Beach" became a code all over the world for the worst in racial tensions. The story behind the Howard Beach incident, its investigation and the subsequent trial is a story of hatred, brutality and deceit; of media outcry, political shuffling and public manipulation; of a cast of characters ranging from petrified politicians to outraged black activists to the quiet citizens of an insular neighborhood. But it was up to one man to bring the case to trial and steer it to its fair conclusion: Special Prosecutor Charles J. "Joe" Hynes. Incident at Howard Beach is his story--a riveting and candid expos� of his fight to discern what really happened that night, his struggle to make a coherent case out of those events, and the battles and tactics he used during the trial a year later in state supreme court. From the on-site investigation through jury selection, behind-the-scenes deal-making, and trial deliberation, here is everything that led to the convictions of the ringleaders and helped to quiet a city in turmoil.
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November 02, 2011
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