Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was not the first racially motivated murder by Americans Who Celebrate Christmas.

December 20, 1986: Michael Griffith, a 23-year old man who was born in Trinidad and who lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was killed after being hit by a car. Griffith was chased onto a highway by a mob gang of white youths who had beaten him and his friends.

The Howard Beach incident was a racially charged killing of 1 Black man and another was beaten in Howard Beach, Queens, New York, in December 1986 that heightened racial tensions in New York City.

Griffith’s death was the second in a string of three infamous racially motivated killings of Black people by white mobs in New York City in the 1980s. The other victims were Willie Turks in 1982 and Yusuf Hawkins in 1989.

Late on the night of Friday, December 19, 1986, four Black men, Michael Griffith, 23; Cedric Sandiford, 36; Curtis Sylvester, 20; and Timothy Grimes, were riding in a car when it broke down in a deserted stretch of Cross Bay Boulevard near Broad Channel. Three of the men walked about three miles north to seek help in the Howard Beach neighborhood of Queens, an insular, mostly white community. Sylvester remained behind to watch the car. They had an argument with some white teens who were on their way to a party, and after the argument, left.

By 12:30 a.m. on the morning of the 20th, the men reached the New Park Pizzeria on Cross Bay Boulevard. After having a quick meal, the men left the pizzeria at 12:40 a.m. where they were confronted by a group of about ten white men who were with the group they had earlier confronted. Racial slurs were exchanged. A fight ensued, and Sandiford and Griffith were seriously beaten. Grimes escaped unharmed.

Griffith, while trying to evade his tormentors, ran in front of a moving car, driven by the son of a police officer, and was killed. His body was found on Shore Parkway at 1:03 a.m.

Griffith’s death provoked strong outrage and immediate condemnation by then Mayor of New York Ed Koch. On December 22 three arrests were made of local teenagers; the accused were Jon Lester, Scott Kern and Jason Ladone. The driver of the car that struck Griffith, 24-year-old Dominick Blum, was not charged with any crime and was cleared by a grand jury in May 1987.

To protest the killing of Griffith, 1,200 demonstrators marched through the streets of Howard Beach on December 27, 1986. In the week leading up to this march, Al Sharpton made threats to residents, but on the day of protest, he had people march peacefully. A heavy NYPD presence kept angry locals, who were screaming at the highly emotional crowd of marchers, in check.

The Griffith family, as well as Cedric Sandiford, retained the services of Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason, two controversial attorneys who would become involved in the Tawana Brawley affair the following year. Maddox raised the ire of the NYPD and Commissioner Benjamin Ward by accusing them of trying to cover up facts in the case and aid the defendants.

After witnesses repeatedly refused to cooperate with Queens D.A. John J. Santucci, Governor of New York Mario Cuomo appointed Charles Hynes special prosecutor to handle the Griffith case on January 13, 1987. The move came after heavy pressure from Black leaders on Cuomo to get Santucci, who was seen as too partial to the defendants to prosecute the case effectively, off the case.

12 defendants were indicted by a grand jury on February 9, 1987, including the original three charged in the case. Their original indictments had been dismissed after the witnesses refused to cooperate in the case.

After a lengthy trial and 12 days of jury deliberations, the 3 main defendants were convicted on December 21, 1987 of manslaughter, a little over a year after the death of Griffith.

Kern, Lester and Ladone were convicted of second-degree manslaughter and Michael Pirone, 18, was acquitted. Ultimately 9 people would be convicted on a variety of charges related to the death of Griffith.

●On January 22, 1988, Jon Lester was sentenced to 10-30 years imprisonment.

In May 2001, Lester was released and deported to his native England. Lester died October 14, 2017.

●On February 11, 1988, Jason Ladone received a sentence of 5-15 years imprisonment. Ladone, then 29, was released from prison after serving 10 years in April 2000, and later became a city employee. He was arrested again in June 2006, on drug charges.

●On February 5, 1988, Scott Kern was sentenced to 6-18 years imprisonment. Kern was released from prison last of the three main perpetrators, in 2002.

■In 1989, Timothy Grimes was sentenced to 16 years in prison for shooting and badly wounding his brother in a 1988 incident in Virginia.

■Cedric Sandiford, one of the principal victims and witnesses in the Griffith case, died of AIDS-related complications in 1991.

■December 1999, the street where Griffith had lived was renamed “Michael Griffith Street.”

■In 2005 the Griffith case was brought back to the public’s attention after another racial attack in Howard Beach. A black man, Glenn Moore, was beaten severely with a metal baseball bat by Nicholas Minucci, who was convicted in 2006.

■The case was revisited yet again by the media, after the death of Michael Sandy, 29, who was beaten and hit by a car after being chased onto the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, New York, in October 2006. See less


“Rediscovering YHVH'S Authentic Ekklesia"



The things that the POPES, BISHOPS, and those who “call themselves APOSTLES” and the CHRISTIAN CHURCH, the world’s systems of RELIGIONS, theologies and democracies call good, holy, and acceptable unto GOD, are in reality Abominations, Blasphemies and are as FILTHY MENSTRUAL RAGS before HEAVEN.

Christianity – The World Consuming WHORE herself – has NO PLACE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

SHE has sought to change GOD and HIS LAW and SABBATH DAYS (Times) and has lied about everything and has led many to death, hell and grave. Innocent blood is on Her hands, and we know that GOD is not a murderer.

I understand your shock and disbelief at this revelation. But you were already in disbelief when you declared yourself as being a Christian.

For Christians do not keep GOD’S Commandments and LAWS but hold Sunday in their minds and hearts as the Holy Sabbath Day and have…

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