After being falsely accused, the Central Park 5 Get a $40M settlement
Published On June 20, 2014 | black people and money, Financial News, News http://financialjuneteenth.com/after-being-falsely-accused-the-central-park-5-get-a-40m-settlement/
April V. TaylorUSA Today is reporting that the Central Park Five have agreed to a $40 million settlement with the city of New York. The five black and Latino men were arrested as teenagers and charged with the 1989 attack and rape of a white female jogger in Central Park. At that time, the murder rate in New York was at an all-time high, and there were an average of nine rapes a day. The media quickly pounced on the climate of fear that permeated the city and began referring to the men as a “wolfpack.” The story made national headlines and heightened racial tensions in the city.
The group of teenagers were all coerced and intimidated into providing false confessions. In two separate trials, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray and Raymond Santana were convicted of attempted murder, rape, assault, robbery, and riot while Kharey Wise was convicted of sexual abuse and assault and Kevin Richardson was convicted of attempted murder and rape. The only DNA evidence came from a single perpetrator , and did not belong to any of the teenagers who were convicted. The convictions were affirmed on appeal.
In 2002, Matias Reyes confessed to the crime, and DNA evidence confirmed his confession. On December 19, 2002, New York Supreme Court Justice Charles Tejada vacated the group’s convictions. A civil rights lawsuit was filed in 2003 accusing police and prosecutors of committing false arrest, malicious prosecution, and racially motivated conspiracy. Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg fought the suit, but current Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to work on a settlement when he took office. The $40 million settlement breaks down to roughly $1 million for every year each man spent behind bars.
The settlement still must be approved by New York City’s comptroller as well as a federal judge before it is official. Mayor de Blasio’s office has not released an official statement yet regarding the Settlement.