Maina wa Njuguna
The ‘Central Park Five‘ was an unforgettable travesty of justice that pitted 5 young minority teenagers against the city of New York police apparatuses that were determined to lock them up and throw away the keys for ‘good’.
One of the 5, Yusef Salaam, a political novice clinched a decisive victory for the New York city councilman for central Harlem.
Mr. Salaam is a motivational speaker, advocate for criminal justice reform and now an elected leader. The general mood from the voters in all these races signified a desire for change.
Now known as the “Exonerated Five,”, Mr. Salaam was among the 5 teenagers wrongly accused, convicted and imprisoned for the rape of a woman jogging in Central Park in 1989. He was just a 15 year old teenager.
The other 4 of the Central Park Five included Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Kharey Wise.
Trisha Meili, a 28 year-old white woman, was an investment banker with degrees from Wellesley and Yale Universities who’s horrific ordeal quickly made local headline news.
Former President Donald Trump at the time was a New York real-estate developer, played a key role in driving public opinion against the 5 young teens when he allegedly spent $85,000 full page ads in major newspapers demanding the death penalty.
Years after the 5 had spent time in prison, Matias Reyes, a serial rapist who had been convicted of an unrelated murder, and serving life in prison, confessed to the assault and rape.
Later, investigators found that Reyes’ semen was an exact DNA match for the semen found on the jogger’s sock, sealing his fate.
The Innocence Project confirms Yusef Salaam’s innocence.
New York city paid $40.75 million to the five defendants, who each served between 6 and 13 years in prison to settle a civil rights lawsuit in 2014.
When Mr. Trump learnt of the $40 million settlement the city had worked out with the 5 men, he called it a ‘disgrace’, totally ignoring their innocence, unjust imprisonment and exoneration.
WHEN THEY SEE US
Film makers and producers Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey produced a very successful mini series of the ‘Exonerated Five’ for Netflix called ‘When They See Us‘.
When They See Us, is based on the true story of the “Central Park Five.” Five boys were wrongfully accused and convicted of raping and beating a white woman in 1989. The men have since been exonerated of those crimes and are now in their late-forties.
Follow the link below and check out the deeply moving documentary that will leave your heart palleted.
When They See Us https://g.co/kgs/KnVP9e