Awhile back, I talked about a topic that’s back in the news with the limited release of Ken Burn’s latest documentary, the Central Park Five.
Over 23 years after the high-profile 1989 rape case of a jogger in New York’s Central Park, fallout from the case continues.
For those who don’t know: On April 19, 1989, just after 9 pm, Trisha Meili, was jogging alone in Central Park when she was hit on the head with a tree branch, brutally raped, beaten, and left for dead. Fortunately, she survived.
Within days, five black and Latino teenagers quote-unquote “confessed” to the crime and the public reaction to the vicious rape of a white, Ivy-League professional was huge.
The media repeatedly described these 14 to 16 year olds as a roving “wolf pack” out “wilding” in the park. Pat Buchanan suggested a public lynching in Central Park of one of the teens as a deterrent to others.
The five were convicted after being manipulated by police into confessing despite the fact no DNA tests or eyewitnesses tied them to the victim.
In 2002, after the young men had served lengthy prison terms, convicted serial rapist and murderer Matias Reyes confessed to committing the crime alone and DNA evidence matched his story.
In 2003, the convictions were vacated and the five sued, but the case has yet to be settled by the city of New York. In fact, to this day, the NYPD has never admitted to mishandling the case, and the prosecutors whose careers were made by this case have not publicly acknowledged their mistakes.
The city of New York even recently subpoenaed the filmmakers of The Central Park Five as a way of derailing the documentary.
Not to mention the real rapist kept on attacking and murdering area women while the Central Park 5 were falsely in jail.
This case–like the Trayvon Martin case–was driven by stereotypes and says so much about us as a community. It speaks to our ultimate fears and sadly reminds us of how far we have yet to go in this country.
This could have been any one of our children they were unjustly persecuted by the system because a heinous crime had been committed against an affluent white woman within a racially polarized city, and the elected officials wanted to play politics and make examples and these five Harlem teens apparently “fit the bill.”
It’s disgusting and we need to keep focusing on this case until it is made right. Let’s push New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg to drop the subpoena against filmmaker Ken Burns and authorize the prompt settlement of this suit by calling 311 (if you’re in New York City) or call 212-NEW-YORK, that’s 212- 639-9675 (outside the city).
I’ll end with these recent words from the Huffington Post penned by freelancer Lisa Bernier:
“Go see The Central Park Five. Watch the interviews…Look into their eyes. Hear their voices. And work, by writing to the city, and by spreading their story to ensure that this city never betray five of its children ever again.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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