The Central Park Five arrested for a crime they did not commit, has released their new mini series “When They See Us,” re-telling their story about the horrible and terrifying experiences they’ve had with the judicial system, leading up to wrongful convictions.
In this mini series, a spotlight is shone on these five boys, as their onscreen counterparts help illustrate their wrongful trial and incarceration for up to twelve years
On the evening April, 1989 everything changed for these boys walking through Central Park, as they would be later accused of sexually assaulting Trisha Meili, later known as the “Central Park Jogger”.
The five, Antron McCray (14) , Kevin Richardson (14) , Yusef Salaam (14), Raymond Santana (15), and Korey Wise (16), were among 30-45 other kids in Central Park, New York at the time, when city officials received a call about kids disrupting the Park. When city officials arrived at the Park, they chased the kids off, but then later discovered Meili, near death in another section of the Park.
These kids were then picked up because they “fit the description” of young black men and interrogated for hours with no food or sleep. None of the kids knew each other.
After being beaten and threatened , these little boys accompanied by their parents,
then wrote and signed a false statement put together by the police detailing a crime that they did not commit, in hopes that would be free to go home as promised. These false statements would later be presented as evidence used to convict the Central Park Five during trial.
During trial, the boys maintained their innocence as their case became biggest sexual assault case in New York City highlighted in all the major newspapers, and even catching some of the city’s investors’ attention, such as Donald Trump. Trump commented on the case several times, even paying large amounts of money to publish ads convincing the city to give the boys the death penalty.
Though no admissible evidence or DNA match were found or gathered, the
boys were still convicted of attempted murder, rape, assault, and robbery. Giving
them a 6-15 year sentence each in prison. Out of the five boys, Wise was sent to
Rikers Adult prison because of being age seventeen when convicted,
while the others were sent to a juvenile facility.
Years later, after the release of the men, Wise stayed incarcerated due to the
fact he was charged as an adult and his sentence was longer. After being in prison