Who were the real Central Park 5 from When They See Us and why were they convicted over the rape of Trisha Meili?

Who were the real Central Park 5 from When They See Us and why were they convicted over the rape of Trisha Meili?

June 4, 2020

THE Central Park Five were 5 teenagers wrongly convicted of assaulting a female jogger in New York's Central Park in 1989.

But who were they, why were they convicted, and why were their convictions later vacated? Find out here…

Who were the Central Park Five?

Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise are known as the Central Park Five.

They were 5 black teenagers who were wrongly convicted of raping jogger Trisha Meili in New York's Central Park in 1989.

The case exposed institutional racism and incompetence at the heart of the NYPD.

In 1989 Donald Trump called for the teens to be handed the death penalty.

Why were they convicted over the rape of Trisha Meili

The Central Park Five were convicted over the rape because they were forced to make confessions in separate police interviews.

Each teen was coerced into admitting a part in the attack, but they all accused the others of raping Trisha.

Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, and Raymond Santana were acquitted of attempted murder, but convicted of rape, assault, robbery, and were sentenced to up to 10 years in a juvinile correctional facility.

Kevin Richardson was convicted of attempted murder, rape, assault, and robbery, while and Korey Wise was found guilty of sexual abuse and assault.

What have they said about the death of George Floyd?

Dr. Yusef Salaam, now a grown adult that had spent 7 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, spoke to Fox 5 about his reaction to seeing the footage of George Floyd declaring "I can't breathe!".

He said: "This is a person who could have been me.

"This is a person who could be my grandfather. This is a person who could be my son.

"We see ourselves in all of these atrocities, all of these horrors and all of these criminal acts that go on."

He continued, "I've always held the idea that the overwhelming majority of the overall police department are probably not bad."

Speaking of the viral video of George Floyd, he said: "It was the most horrific and difficult thing to watch but it's become normalised in American and tomorrow we may see something similar, and that's the part that's very troubling."

 

When were their convictions vacated?

Their convictions were vacated when serial rapist Matias Reyes pleaded guilty to assaulting and raping Trisha.

He was linked to the case via DNA, while there was no evidence that the boys did it beyond their forced confessions.

They settled a lawsuit against the city for $41m in 2014.

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