It Happened Today in New York City
On August 19, 1991, 7-year old Gavin Cato was killed in a traffic accident in Crown Heights, struck by a car from the motorcade of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. The sequence of the events that followed has been disputed, but the chauffeur of the Jewish leader was removed from the scene for his own safety by a private ambulance, while many in the community that had already experienced tension between black and Jewish neighbors started to protest and ultimately riot. The 3-day race riot sparked by the incident resulted in more deaths and injuries and is believed to have played a significant role in Mayor David Dinkins’ defeat in his bid for re-election the following year.
- Posted in: Almanac