A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.
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In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.Written by
Jim Dwyer - New York Times:
What ever you do in life, you make mistakes, and you either face your mistakes, or you don't. I don't think the Press faced it's mistakes. I don't think the Police Department faced the truth in what had happened, because the truth of what had happened is almost unbearable. By prosecuting the wrong people in the central park rape case, Matais Reyes continued to hurt, maim and kill. And They could have had him, but they got stuck with a mistake, and they are still invested in that mistake.
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Written by Parrish Smith and Erick Sermon
Published by Songs Music Publishing, LLC
o.b.o Songs of SMP (ASCAP)
Performed by EPMD
Courtesy of Priority Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music See more »
I think this documentary was done well overall. It captures an era in US history when New York City and many US cities were in rapid decline due to the economy, drugs, crime, white flight, etc What happened with the Central Park Five was the culmination of many factors that ultimately led to their conviction then exoneration. To put things in context, in 1989 NYC was in the midst of an unprecedented crime wave. In 1989 there were 2,244 murders and 5,479 rapes in NYC. In 1989 and even to this day, crime statistics show 90% of all crime in New York is perpetrated by blacks and other minorities, including the criminal that was ultimately convicted of brutally raping and almost beating to death the female white jogger. At the time, Central Park seemed like a piece of calm and safety amid the crime and chaos of NY. The night of the incident, when police got reports of a gang of colored teenagers beating and terrorizing people in the park, they quickly picked up these five kids who were in the area. Under great public pressure to get the sociopath(s) responsible for this heinous crime, the police threw out their code of ethics and justice and unbelievably contrived and then cajoled false confessions out of five naive and susceptible teens and their unwitting parents. Although lacking any physical evidence and with conflicting stories from the teens, with their own contrived video taped confessions, the five teens (scapegoats) were convicted and sentenced to prison. Ultimately, another minority in prison for murder confessed to the crime and the 5 teens were vindicated as being innocent. What this documentary shows is many parts of a society in decay from the break down of the justice system, the manipulation and railroading of innocent teens by police, the media hype that overlooked the facts, the outrageous level of crime perpetrated by minorities, overzealous prosecutors who want the feather in their cap despite the teens innocence, etc etc A good, insightful documentary.
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