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.
“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.”
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.
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