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General Category => In The News => Topic started by: Battle on July 26, 2014, 12:11:26 am

Title: Central Park 5 is still ALIVE!
Post by: Battle on July 26, 2014, 12:11:26 am
In Shift, New York City Is Quickly Settling Big Civil-Rights Lawsuits
JULY 24, 2014


Kevin Richardson, left, and Raymond Santana, right, two of the men known as the Central Park Five, appeared in front of supporters last week to discuss their multimillion-dollar settlement with the City of New York. Their convictions were vacated in the rape and beating of a park jogger.

N.Y. / Region -  For more than a decade, the five men whose convictions were vacated in the 1989 rape and beating of a Central Park jogger grappled with New York City for monetary damages for what they had gone through. The city fought them at every turn.

Then, six months into a new administration, the city’s Law Department agreed to a sweeping $41 million settlement with the plaintiffs. The agreement, which is expected to be filed in federal court soon, had been championed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had cited the city’s “moral obligation to respond to that injustice.”


Why is this topic important? 

Because... those 5 dudes aren't the only victims New York City has managed to badly handle court cases.

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Title: Re: Central Park 5 is still ALIVE!
Post by: JRCarter on July 26, 2014, 05:51:03 pm
They really were the modern-day Scottsboro Nine.
Title: Re: Central Park 5 is still ALIVE!
Post by: Battle on July 26, 2014, 07:13:20 pm
They really were the modern-day Scottsboro Nine.


All those corrupt COs, POs,  legal aid lawyers, DAs and Judges who sh*tted on them boys better not get in the crosshairs of disgruntled ex-cons with a multi-million dollar settlement.

Jus' sayin'...   ( ♫ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸♫"Dum Dee Dum DUM
Title: Re: Central Park 5 is still ALIVE!
Post by: Battle on April 22, 2019, 06:21:48 am
Friday, 19th April 2019
The Central Park Five, Criminal Justice, and Donald Trump
by Jelani Cobb

Deep into the night of April 19, 1989, New York City police officers were called to a macabre scene at the north end of Central Park: a twenty-eight-year-old woman named Trisha Meili had been raped and beaten so brutally that, it was later determined, she lost three-quarters of her blood.

(She was comatose for twelve days, and remained in the hospital for several months.)

Meili, who had gone for a run in the park some four hours before she was found, became known as the Central Park Jogger, not because such a pastime was unique—even amid the perils in the New York of the nineteen-eighties, lots of people jogged in the Park—but because it was a convenient linguistic dodge.

Better to dwell on the innocuous act that prefaced the assault than on the inhumane acts that it entailed.
(Meili publicly identified herself in 2003.)

The public hysteria that met the attack is difficult to convey to anyone who was not in the city to witness it.
It was, in fact, the worst of a string of serious assaults committed in the park that night, and, from the outset, it was framed by dynamics of race and class.

A month later, the Times noted that there had been reports of twenty-eight other actual or attempted first-degree rapes in the city that week, but almost all those victims were black or Latina women, and none of their cases generated the citywide outrage that the Central Park attack did.

While headlines demanded justice for Meili, who was an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, the case of a thirty-eight-year-old black woman who had been raped and thrown off the roof of a building in Brooklyn was treated as something of a municipal footnote.

The reaction to Meili’s assault came as the nadir of a two-decade-long spiral of racial animosity driven by a fear of crime.

In the nineteen-seventies, an entire subgenre of cinema—films such as “Death Wish,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Warriors”— depicted New York as a lawless urban dystopia, and that image clung to the city throughout the next decade.

In the early eighties, crack cocaine emerged as a narcotic scourge, just as the heroin epidemic had begun to subside.

The year before the Central Park attack, a record 1,896 homicides were reported in the city.

(The homicide rate peaked two years later, with 2,245 deaths.)

In practical terms, this meant that the apprehension and punishment of Meili’s attacker was seen as a test of the city’s competence both to protect its citizens and to administer justice.

The channels of New York’s institutional life—its law enforcement and courts, its elected officials, even its media—were charged with redressing the suffering of a single, badly victimized individual.

They did not. Rather, they quintupled that suffering elsewhere.

Antron McCray, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, and Raymond Santana, five young men from upper Manhattan, aged between fourteen and sixteen, were apprehended by the police, following the first reports of the attacks in the park that night.

After hours of police questioning, four of them confessed, on video, to taking part in the attack.

The outrage was immediate:

the five teen-agers were black and brown; the young woman they were accused of assaulting was white.

The press descriptions of that night, as LynNell Hancock notes in a 2003 study of media coverage of the case, published in the Columbia Journalism Review, read as if they had been torn from the pages of “A Clockwork Orange.”

The Daily News called the young men a “wolf pack.” Pete Hamill wrote, in the Post, that they hailed from “a world of crack, welfare, guns, knives, indifference and ignorance.” Mayor Ed Koch called them “monsters.”

In two trials, in 1990, Santana, Wise, Richardson, McCray, and Salaam were convicted of the attack, even though there was no physical evidence tying them to it, only their supposed confessions, which contradicted one another.

They were sentenced to terms of between five and fifteen years.

The accused came to be known as the Central Park Five, but that, too, was a linguistic dodge.

Better to identify them by their number and the scene of their alleged crime than by the brutality visited upon them by an arbitrary justice system and the public opinion that abetted it.

In 2002, Matias Reyes, a convicted rapist, confessed to the crime, and, based on DNA evidence, the charges against the five were vacated.

In 2014, the city paid them forty-one million dollars, to settle a federal civil-rights lawsuit.

In the thirty years since the Central Park attack, there have been signs of change in the criminal-justice system.

A major reform bill was signed into law last year.

Recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in ten states, vastly reducing the likelihood of racial disparities in drug-related arrests.

New York City has largely abandoned the discriminatory practice of stop-and-frisk.

There has been a public reckoning with the systematic failures that led to mass incarceration:

Sarah Burns’s excellent 2012 documentary on the case laid bare many of the contradictions and failures that led to the wrongful arrests and prosecutions, and high-profile district attorneys across the country advocate for policies that do not view prison as the default response to every societal ill in America.

This progress has been facilitated by the work of activists, legislators, and policy advocates, who have coaxed the public into thinking about issues of criminal justice with more rationality and nuance.

Crucially, the progress has been underwritten by plummeting rates of crime not only in New York City (there were two hundred and eighty-nine homicides last year, the lowest number on record) but across the United States.

In the context of these developments, the thirtieth anniversary of that terrible night in Central Park invites an inevitable question:

Could such a miscarriage of justice happen again?

One response is no, because we are wiser now:

Hancock’s critique of the media’s handling of the case is taught in journalism schools as an example of what happens when the press succumbs to public pressure and a rush to judgment.

A growing body of literature about false confessions has helped to explain why the five teens admitted to crimes that they did not commit.

(More than a quarter of people convicted of crimes who were later exonerated by DNA evidence had confessed to or incriminated themselves in those crimes.)

The years of reflection—including from journalists who covered the story and met regularly for years afterward to discuss what had gone wrong—have given us the tools to recognize a potential miscarriage of justice when we see it.

That optimism, however, is offset by other, darkly contrasting data.

In 1989, Donald Trump, then a real-estate developer two years away from his first commercial bankruptcy, took out full-page ads in New York newspapers, under the heading “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY.


BRING BACK OUR POLICE!” Though Trump did not name the Central Park Five defendants, he was essentially calling for the execution of innocent minors.

Trump never admitted that he was wrong about the Central Park attack, and there have been perilously few consequences for his role in amplifying the hysteria surrounding it.

Now the man who manipulated the fears of a city is directing a much bigger production.

Trump launched his Presidential campaign by once again fearmongering about sexual assault, this time pointing to imagined Mexican rapists.

The record declines in violent crime have done nothing to stay his ability to frighten the public beyond the borders of rationality.

In the name of safety, the United States has enacted a discriminatory travel ban that targets Muslims and countenanced the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the southern border.

A year ago, Jeff Sessions, then Trump’s Attorney General, issued a memorandum ordering U.S. attorneys to pursue the death penalty in some drug-related offenses.

The most dire postscript for the Central Park debacle may be that, thirty years later, Trump is no longer simply fearmongering to manipulate public opinion.

He now does so to manipulate public policy.

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Title: Re: Central Park 5 is still ALIVE!
Post by: Battle on May 12, 2019, 06:45:54 pm
Sunday, 12th May 2019
The Central Park Five speak!

by CBS News


Yusef Salaam.

Antron McCray.

Raymond Santana.

Korey Wise.

Kevin Richardson.

Five men connected in a way few of us could ever imagine.

Santana said there is never a time when he doesn't think about the episode that brought them together:

"It's every day. Constantly." Salaam said that every day it's "probably my second or third thought."

"Probably, like, my fourth thought," said McCray.

"Even our conversations is different. It's not normal. Our conversations would be about prison, how we had to survive in prison."

They are known as the Central Park Five, a name they came to share 30 years ago, after a young white woman named Trisha Meili went for a jog in New York's Central Park.

The 28-year-old woman was found by two passers-by, viciously battered and unconscious.

She had been dragged into the bushes near an area called the Loch, beaten, and sexually assaulted.

In a city traumatized by crime, the attack was an outrage, and became a media sensation.

Investigators quickly focused on a group of black and Hispanic boys who were in the park that night.

Media reports described them as a "wolf pack," who had committed muggings.

Police arrested five teenagers, charging them with attempted murder, rape and assault.
Salaam, McCray, Richardson, Wise and Santana were tried, convicted and imprisoned for the crime they maintained they did not do.

The story of how the boys were charged and, years later, cleared of that notorious crime is the subject of a new Netflix miniseries by the Oscar-nominated writer-director Ava DuVernay, called "When They See Us."

"My goal was to humanize boys, and now men, who are widely regarded as criminals," said DuVernay.

"And in doing that, to invite the audience to re-interrogate everyone that they define as a criminal."

DuVernay contends that what is seen all too often in criminal cases is race.

"I'm asking the question to everyone, 'What do you see when you see black boys?' And that's a painful answer, because I know what the answer is for many people. It's exactly what these boys were called: wolf pack, animals, criminals, so much so that they could be tossed aside on a case that was made from a complete lie."

In the series, as in life, only two of the five teenagers even knew each other, but during interrogation, they say police coerced them to create stories implicating one another. 

The men who lived through it say the reality was even worse.

Salaam said, "Soon as we get in, they separate us and they start working on us. And I'm hearing Korey being physically beaten in the next room. And I'm immediately beyond afraid."

Richardson said, "At the time, my mom, she suffered from a stroke, she had diabetes and she left. And that was their time to get on me."

"And what happened?" asked correspondent Maurice DuBois.

"We're 14-, 15- and 16-year-old kids," said Santana.

"Never been in trouble with the law. Never had no police contact. These are seasoned veterans. This fight was fixed."

McCray said he was interrogated for more than 10 hours:

"I just kept telling the truth at first. They asked to speak to my father. My father left the room with them. Came back in the room, he just changed. Cursing, yelling at me. And he said, 'Tell these people what they wanna hear so you go home.' I'm like, 'Dad, but I didn't do anything.' The police is yelling at me. My father yelling at me.  And I just like, 'All right. I did it.'  And I looked up to my father. He is my hero. But he gave up on me. You know, I was telling the truth and he just told me to lie."

DuBois asked, "Did you ever make peace with your father?"

"No. Didn't want to. My life was ruined. Why should I? He's a coward."

None of the five ever admitted to committing the rape, but they did confess to being there.

They blamed each other - damning admissions, even in the absence of physical evidence.
As "CBS Evening News" reported at the time, there was no blood on their clothing; there was no match for semen; the DNA tests came back negative. Nothing linked the boys to the crime.

At trial, all were found guilty.

Four of the five served about seven-year sentences as juveniles, refusing early parole because it required admitting guilt.

But the oldest of the group, Korey Wise, served time as an adult.
In his 13th year in prison, Wise had a chance encounter with another inmate that would change the lives of all the men convicted of the rape of Trisha Meili.

"The resolution of this whole tragedy came from something that I don't believe was happenstance," said DuVarney.

"It's a coincidence that borders on miracle."

Matias Reyes spotted Wise in a prison yard, and the two began talking.

"'Wow, you still here after all these years,'" Wise recalled being told.

"'I guess so.'"

The two had met years before, and Reyes began to feel guilty that Wise was still in prison for a crime he himself had committed.

Said Salaam, "He saw Korey and was like, 'He's still here? I gotta tell the truth.'"

Reyes confessed that he alone had committed the rape, offering details about the crime that only the assailant would know.

His DNA was a match, and the Central Park Five were exonerated.

The City of New York eventually agreed to a $41 million settlement – about a million dollars for each year of imprisonment.

DuBois asked, "Did the money make it better?"

"We were able to relocate, put our children in better situations," said Santana.

"But besides that, no."

Salaam added, "No amount of money could have given us our time back."

With the release of "When They See Us," the men who were the Central Park Five embrace the attention and dialogue they hope their case will bring, to crime, punishment and race.
DuBois asked, "Is there a life lesson for what you've been through?"

"Truth," McCray replied.

"I preach to my kids, 'Just tell the truth. Be true to who you are.' Honestly, the last time I lied, got me seven-and-a-half years for something I didn't do."

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Title: Re: Central Park 5 is still ALIVE!
Post by: Battle on September 09, 2019, 09:59:43 am
Monday, 9th September 2019


Kevin Richardson always had dreams of attending Syracuse University but being wrongly accused of raping the Central Park jogger at 14-years-old robbed him of that dream.

Now, the college has named a scholarship after the member of the Exonerated Five.