The death of 27-year-old Hassan Hall has left a politically-astute Queens neighborhood in a quandary. Residents in the quiet residential area with rows of one-family homes openly discuss the death of Hassan Hall, as if he were a member of their close-knit family.
Whether they personally interacted with the religious, community and van leader is insignificant to these hardworking, predominantly Caribbean and African-American homeowners preoccupied with preparing their children for college, improving their Queens community and conducting a lifestyle of outstanding citizens.
Moreover, mindboggling to this community dotted with active members affiliated with political clubs and block associations – housed in a borough catapulted into worldwide scrutiny with the murder of Sean Bell – is a plethora of unanswered questions buried in silence.
Indeed, in this community bordering Nassau County with a one-of-a kind, well-manicured lawns capturing their best of the Caribbean or southern imaginations is an apparent savvy restlessness that hope and justice prevail in the untimely death of Hassan Hall.
Equally noticeable is the fact that prominent political, civic and religious figures in Cambria Heights are known to have a rapport with their constituents. In this case, a member of Community 13 disclosed that she was informed that Hassan Hall had not succumbed in an alleged police chase by a 105th Precinct transport truck from 115th Avenue to 116th Avenue along 234th Street in Cambria Heights, NY.
Residents in Cambria Heights tell another story. “When Hall hit the ground, I knew he was dead,” said one resident who observed the police follow and collide into Hall, as he rode a blue motorcycle.
An authorized van driver who had seen Hall only minutes before his tragic death revealed that his young coworker was “tailgated.”
“He was a wonderful person” said the teary-eyed authorized van driver shaking his head in disbelief from left to right, as he raised questions about what will become of this tragedy.
Meanwhile in an interview, Ashley Williams, Hall’s fiancée, attempts to shed all the steps she should have taken to extend Hall’s mortality in this worrisome development. Least of her concern, is the allegation that Hall was aware the bike he was riding around the time of his death, was stolen.
“There was a guy, who was selling Hall the bike and he was only testing it,” Williams said, disputing any accusations that Hall was knowingly considering purchasing a motorcycle from a person lacking ownership. “He owned a motorcycle,” added Williams.
Quite disturbing to this mother looking forward to marrying Hall, was the fact that during the time the police chased Hall, in this residential enclave of families the “police siren was not activated.”
Williams, however, acknowledged the heroic effort by residents attempting to perform CPR on the man she was looking forward to be her future spouse.
Still, unexplained to her was the lack of attention by police officers to Hall as his body rested on the pavement close to the Cross Island Parkway South.
“The cops were not trying to help him,” Williams, declared.
Williams explained that it was a long time before an ambulance from North Shore Long Island Jewish Center’s Franklin Hospital in Flushing, NY arrived. Not coincidental to Williams is how she was treated at the scene of the alleged crime. “The same officer holding me back was the one driving the van, which sideswiped Hassan Hall on the motorcycle,” noted Williams. “Hassan was a very nice guy,” said one authorized van driver who knew and worked with the late van, community and church leader.
“RIP Cowboy,” painted on throngs of vans throughout Queens, specifically Linden Boulevard in Southeast Queens, is an expression of the warmth and gratitude felt for Hall by a throng of van drivers and passengers who knew and worked with him.
“Cowboy” was Hall’s nickname. “Riding was his passion,” Williams stated. “He loved working for his family. He was a great provider, a wonderful man and very well known in the community and the church,” Williams further stated about Hall who was of Caribbean descent.