Thousands of Central Park Five documents to be unveiled by city
The Law Department is releasing 200K pages of documents, 95 depositions and other records from the infamous 1989 case of the Central Park Five.
The Central Park Five refers to Kharey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam who were all convicted of brutally raping and beating 28-year-old Trisha Meili, who was known as the “Central Park Jogger,” in April 1989. Meili was in a coma for 12 days following the attack.
The Central Park Five became one of the city’s most infamous crimes. The five defendants did confess to being accomplices to the rape, saying they helped restrain the Central Park jogger, but no DNA from any of the then-teenagers was found in the subsequent rape kit.
The Central Park Five defendants were exonerated in 2002 after Matias Reyes confessed to raping Meili, and DNA evidence proved the prison inmate’s claim. The Central Park Five, who served between seven and 13 years in prison, were awarded a $41 million settlement from the city in 2014.
The city will release 200,000 document pages, 95 depositions and various other records regarding the Central Park Five case as part of that 2014 settlement, the Daily News reported.
The first batch released Thursday included only items from the original investigation, with more slated to be unveiled soon — with Meili’s blessing.
“For my own peace of mind, I wanted to find the truth of what happened and who was involved, and so that’s why I’m eager to see the release of these documents. It’s information and the details I’ve never had access to,” she told the Daily News.
When the Central Park Five were awarded their $41 million settlement from the city in 2014, many were outraged, including now-President Donald Trump.
But first, let’s go back to 1989, when Donald Trump took out full-page ads in New York City’s major newspapers that called for the death penalty for the Central Park jogger's attackers.
“I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer,” Trump wrote in the ads, which were headlined with “Bring back the death penalty. Bring back our police!”
In a CNN interview with Larry King soon after, Trump stood by the ads, saying, “maybe hate is what we need if we’re gonna get something done.”
After the Central Park Five were exonerated, Trump called their settlement “a disgrace” and said “settling doesn’t mean innocence … these young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels.”
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump still declared the Central Park Five were guilty, despite their convictions being vacated.