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Exonerated 5 Honored With New Central Park Gate
On Monday, the Exonerated 5 were honored with the “Gate of the Exonerated” during a ceremony in New York City's Central Park.
The Exonerated 5 is receiving a lifetime honor at New York City's Central Park. Over 30 years after being falsely imprisoned for the 1989 rape of a white female jogger in Central Park, Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Yusef Salaam were given a gold-plated “Gate of the Exonerated” at the entrance of the same park on Monday (December 19). The ceremony, where guests included Richardson, Salaam, Santana and Mayor Eric Adams, comes two decades after the five were exonerated from the crime after spending 15 years in prison.
\u201cCentral Park renamed an entrance to honor the Exonerated Five \u2014 5 Black and Latino teens falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1989.\n\nThey were 14-16 when police forced them to confess. They were exonerated in 2002, having served their sentences, when the attacker confessed.\u201d— AJ+ (@AJ+) 1671494640
“We are here because we persevered… because what was written for us was hidden from the enemies that looked at the color of our skin and not the content of our character,” Salaam said during the ceremony. He continued, “They didn’t know who they had. The system is alive and sick, and we are to ensure that the future is alive and well.”
“We [were] babies that had no dealing with the law, never knew what Miranda was, but we’re here now,” Santana added. “Over three-hundred articles written about us in the first three weeks of this case, dissecting the lives of 14 and 15-year-old kids. The labels: ‘urban terrorist,’ ‘wolfpack.'"
Richardson remembered, “Ads that said four of us should be horsewhipped, while the elder, Korey Wise, should be hung from a tree.”
\u201cThis past Monday, we were honored to host the Exonerated 5 at The Africa Center during the unveiling of the Gate of the Exonerated, a Central Park entry point dedicated to the 5 Black and Latino men who were wrongly accused and convicted for the rape of a white jogger in 1989.\u201d— TheAfricaCenter (@TheAfricaCenter) 1671620386
The 1989 case returned to the public eye in 2019 when Ava Duvernay-directed miniseries When They See Us premiered on Netflix, scoring 16 Emmy nominations for the retelling of the tragic story.