Hearing For Central Park 5 Victims

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[New York City]

There's a big support rally for the Central Park 5 victims Monday here in New York.

“In 1989, without any physical evidence, the NYPD and the District Attorney's office, namely former ADA and fiction crime writer Linda Fairstein, railroaded five young boys to further their own careers," says Omowale Clay. "They spent a total of forty years in prison. Today Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the Bloomberg administration continue to stone-wall justice and reparations for these victims of the criminal justice system."

Omowale Clay is the spokesman for these victims.

The men collectively known as the “Central Park 5” will move on in their quest for justice and reparations on Monday, October 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM, in a Hearing in front of Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis, Courtroom 18D, 18th floor, in the United States Court House on 500 Pearl Street, Downtown NYC.

Twenty three years ago, April 19, 1989, the five innocent Black and Latino teenage boys were captured and arrested by the New York Police Department (NYPD) for the rape and beating of a White woman. She was an investment banker jogging in Central Park. Before they went to trial, newspaper headlines and television news broadcasts condemned them. They were convicted and spent from 6 to 13 years in prison. This case is reminiscent of the Scottsboro Boys in Alabama 1931.

“I was fourteen years old,” Raymond Santana recalled during a previous Justice Rally for the Central Park 5. “They called us animals 'wilding', but we knew we were innocent and we held our heads up. We lost many years and we are still trying to catch up. This is not just about us, Sean Bell, Timothy Stansbury and Eleanor Bumpers were murdered by police. There are a lot more people going through what we did.”

“Even Donald Trump exploited them by taking out full page ads in the major newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty for their case just to promote his own name," adds Omowale Clay. "The police knew they were innocent but they never really investigated the crime. Any Black or Latino boys would do. Matias Reyes, serving time for another rape and murder committed after the jogger attack, finally confessed to the crime in 2002. His was the only DNA found at the crime scene. The damage done to these men must be repaired now. We demand justice. We can not let them criminalize our youth without a fight. We are all the Central Park 5.”

“We were exonerated and we want compensation for the years they stole from us,” Kevin Richardson, who could barely speak through his tears, recalls. “It's unusual to see a grown man cry, but we have been through so much. It was torture. We are putting our lives back together and taking care of our families. Thank you all for standing by us.”

Kharey Wise, who spent 13 years in prison, made a brief statement thanking all the people who supported them through the years.

The civil case against New York City for the wrongful conviction of the Central Park 5 has been stalled for over eight years by foot-dragging city attorneys. Justice for these innocent young men is long overdue.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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