Amsterdam News: 2013 Year in Review

The biggest news from the Black community in 2013

12/26/2013, 11:56 a.m.
Clean Halls, New York Police Department, NYPD, American Taxpayer Relief Act, Barack Obama, Lenox Lounge, early voting, Raphael Ward, firefighters, ...
Fight on for Trayvon


Bill Thompson


Kimani laid to rest; questions remain


  1. The MTA implements fare changes that include the increase of weekly subway passes to $30.
  2. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez dies at age 58.
  3. As the mayoral race gets underway, Democratic candidates Christine Quinn, Bill de Blasio, John Liu and Bill Thompson begin making the rounds during their campaigns.
  4. Vy Higginson’s musical “Mama, I Want to Sing” celebrates 30 seasons.
  5. Kimani Gray, 16, is shot 11 times by two undercover police officers in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Officers claim the teen had a gun, while witnesses say he did not.
  6. Jorge Mario Bergoglio is voted in by the papal conclave under the name Francis as the 266th pope.
  7. Corrupt former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  8. The family of the late Gil Noble announces the formation of the Gil Noble Foundation with the goal of managing the famed journalist’s archives.
  9. The Floyd v. the City of New York trial begins to determine the constitutionality and fate of stop-and-frisk.
  10. The son of FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano, Joseph, resigns after posting racially charged comments on Twitter about Blacks, Jews and the poor.
  11. Bob Teague, one of the city’s first Black television journalists, dies at age 84.


Malcolm Smith


Rev. Al Sharpton


Dr. Lorraine E. Hale, pioneering child development expert and co-founder of Hale House Center, inc., dies in NYC


  1. State Sen. Malcolm Smith and five other people are arrested by the FBI on charges of fraud for allegedly attempting to rig the 2013 New York City mayoral election.
  2. Philip Banks is named chief of police, making him the highest-ranking Black officer in the NYPD.
  3. The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network hosts its 15th annual National Convention, with Attorney General Eric Holder speaking at the event.
  4. “Motown: The Musical” premieres on Broadway to rave reviews.
  5. The NYPD rounds up 63 gang members in East Harlem responsible for more than three murders and 30 shootings.
  6. The “Central Park Five” mark the 24th anniversary of the attack for which they were wrongfully convicted as the community rallies for reparations for the group.
  7. Common Core standardized tests are implemented, leading public school parents to mobilize and boycott.
  8. Dr. Lorraine E. Hale, co-founder of the Hale House Center, passes at age 86.
  9. Bombs go off at the Boston Marathon, leaving three people dead and 260 injured.
  10. The culprits are brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan Tsarnaev is killed by police while Dzhokar Tsarnaev is taken into custody.


RIP Malcolm Shabazz


Jitu 'Big Black' Weusi passes


  1. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy reaches the six-month mark, and some communities are still not getting the relief they need from FEMA, the Red Cross and NYCHA.
  2. SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the parent company of Long Island College Hospital, withdraws the plan to close the hospital.
  3. Patients at Harlem Hospital report a shortage of basic supplies, which the hospital denies.State Sen. John Sampson is indicted on nine counts, including embezzlement.
  4. The spire is installed on One World Trade Center, making it the tallest building in the United States at 1,776 feet.
  5. The FBI and the state of New Jersey double the reward for information leading to Assata Shakur’s arrest to $2 million.
  6. Singer Lauryn Hill is sentenced to three months in prison for tax evasion.
  7. Chris Kelly, a member of rap duo Kris Kross, dies at age 34 after battling with drug addiction.
  8. A devastating tornado kills 24 people and wounds over 300 in Moore, Okla
  9. Later, an outbreak of tornadoes affects the Great Plains, particularly Oklahoma and Kansas.
  10. Around 76 tornadoes are reported in the event, including the widest tornado ever recorded, reported near El Reno, Okla., at 2.6 miles in width. A total of 10 are confirmed dead.
  11. Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, is found beaten and dies from his injuries in Mexico City at age 28.
  12. A judge decides to toss out the indictment of NYPD officer Richard Haste, who was charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of unarmed Black 18-year-old Ramarley Graham.
  13. Former disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner enters the mayoral race.
  14. Assemblyman Vito Lopez resigns amid sexual harassment complaints.
  15. Three women missing (Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus) for more than a decade are found alive in Cleveland, Ohio, while a man, Ariel Castro, is charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
  16. President Barack Obama serves as the commencement speaker at Morehouse College.
  17. The trial against George Zimmerman, who is charged with killing Trayvon Martin, begins in Florida.
  18. Educator and activist Jitu Weusi passes away.
  19. After 10 weeks, Floyd v. City of New York, the case determining the legality of stop-and-frisk, comes to an end.