Where Are the Central Park Five Now?
On Friday, a new Netflix four-part miniseries will air and tell the story of the Central Park Five.
In short: The Central Park Five are five black and Latino teenagers who were falsely charged with assaulting and raping a 28-year-old female jogger in Central Park in 1989. All five were convicted, with no DNA evidence linking them to the scene of the crime. And the boys—known as the Central Park Five—all spent 7 to 13 years in prison until the real perpetrator came forward in 2002.
The events will be retold by Ava DuVernay in the miniseries, titled When They See Us, just six weeks after the 30th anniversary of the attack.
Who are the Central Park Five?
Their names are Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana.
All five men gave confessions that they now claim were false and coerced by the interrogators. Salaam wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2016 stating that during their interrogation, the boys were deprived of food, water, and sleep for more than 24 hours.
The boys’ confessions were even filled with inconsistencies, which were pointed out and inevitably ignored during the trials. There was no actual evidence linking them to the crime. But all five were convicted in two different trials in 1990.
So, who was guilty?
His name is Matias Reyes, and he came forward in 2002, after the Five had spent years in prison. The now-men were exonerated when Reyes, an already convicted murderer and rapist, confessed to the crime. His DNA was a match, and the Five were given $41 million by New York City in a 2014 settlement.
Where are the Five now?
McCray moved down south after getting out of prison and, according to the New York Times, is a father and a forklift operator.
Santana has a fashion line called Park Madison NYC in Atlanta, where he lives with his daughter. Santana even sells a T-shirt that features the names of the five men, and proceeds from the sales go directly to the Innocence Project, the nonprofit that worked to exonerate the men and clear their names.
Richardson has also since done work with the Innocence Project. And so has Wise, who now lives in the Bronx.
Salaam is married with children and works as a public speaker. In 2016, he received the lifetime achievement award from President Barack Obama.
All five men were given honorary diplomas from Bronx Preparatory High School in 2017.
“When we went to prison, this was taken away from us,” Santana said at the ceremony. “It was something we never got to experience. You felt like you were being robbed, and we’ve finally found redemption.”
Salaam, Richardson, and Santana also all received their GEDs and associate degrees during their time in prison, according to the Times.
Who was the jogger?
Her name is Trisha Meili, but for years, she remained anonymous. She was referred to only as the Central Park Jogger, until she revealed her identity in her 2003 memoir, I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility.
During a nighttime jog that April, Meili was beaten, raped, and left to die. She reportedly lost 75 percent of her blood during the attack and was in a coma for 12 days. Now, Meili is a motivational speaker and sexual assault advocate. She also organizes the Hope and Possibility run in Central Park.
Any other film adaptations??
Netflix’s miniseries isn’t the first time the story has been told since the exoneration. In 2012, Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon directed a documentary titled The Central Park Five about the case.
Salaam has reportedly said that the initial documentary “really gave us our lives back.”
The four-part Netflix miniseries will be available for streaming May 31.
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