This day in history: June 16, 1987 (video)

On June 16, 1987, a jury in New York acquitted Bernhard Goetz of attempted murder in the 1984 subway shooting of 4 young males (3 with criminal records) who attempted to rob him. (He was convicted of illegal weapons possession.)

New York tabloids dubbed Goetz “the ‘Death Wish’ gunman” because the shooting seemed eerily similar to a scene in the 1974 movie “Death Wish,” in which Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) sat on a New York subway car minding his own business until some punks threatened him. Then he shot them. Both Kersey and Goetz became heroes of sorts.

After reaching an all-time peak in 1990, crime in New York City dropped dramatically through the rest of the 1990s. Since the Goetz shootings, the same robbers have committed a laundry list of other crimes.

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