When They See Us – The Central Park 5

When They See Us – The Central Park 5

‘When They See Us’ – Powerful and Painful

The story of the Central Park 5 remains of the most galvanizing and racially charged incidents in our modern history. The story of five young underaged boys wrongfully convicted of the brutal rape of a white female jogger in Central Park.

In 1989 Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, the black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were falsely convicted of brutally raping a white female jogger in Central Park. The brutal beating and rape provoked public outrage and sensational headlines during the prosecution and conviction of the five defendants. Current President Donald Trump was also a notable figure as he took out a full-page ad in favor of sending these boys to their death.  The NYPD over the previous years were concerned about the number of rape cases going unsolved and felt pressured to solve this crime. This pressure led to one of our nations greatest injustices.

What We Must Understand

Most of the population doesn’t quite understand how a simple false arrest, accusation or conviction impacts not only the lives of the wrongfully accused, but also family and friends become victims as well.

We live in a society where a concerning number of white people have been recorded calling the cops on people of color for just existing. The story of the Central Park 5  clearly depicts the pain and agony that people have gone through, and continue to experience at the hands of an unbalanced and biased judicial system.

The financial burdens, the emotional pain, the mental fatigue, as well as the lives torn apart are the result of these injustices.

In the Netflix program, you see how crimes can be falsified against people of color and more shockingly how the false information can lead to a conviction with zero physical evidence. In addition, how police officers and prosecutors will bluntly lie and falsify information for the simple fact of closing a case. Where’s the justice?

On another note, serious backlash has been growing against the woman who spearheaded the falsification of evidence in order to secure a conviction at at cost.

Central Park 5 'when they see us'
Linda Fairstein (left) Felicity Huffman (right)

Linda Fairstein, the key figure in the wrongful prosecution of the Central Park 5, is facing a lot of heat ever since Ava DuVernay‘s Netflix series, “When They See Us,” aired. She was originally the head of the Manhattan D.A.’s Sex Crimes Unit in 1989 and knowingly falsified information to gain a conviction. Ironically, she holds a  position on the board of directors for a non-profit organization that oversees affairs concerning minorities. What?

 

Dr. Jason-Anthony Prendergast

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