‘Central Park Five’

(Pictured above: Sharonne Salaam, mother of Yusef Salaam. Source: OriginalPeople.org)

The case of the “Central Park Five,” the true story of the wrongful conviction of four black and one Hispanic teenager for the rape of Central Park jogger Trisha Meili in 1989, will be dramatized in a five-episode series for Netflix. A debut date was not announced.

Ava DuVernay, who produced and directed 13th,  the Netflix documentary about the US prison system and its relation to racial inequality, will create, write and direct the limited series.

“The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades,” said DuVernay. “In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn – from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the President of the United States.”

Central Park Five will seek to expose “the breakdown of our criminal justice system at every phase of the notorious Central Park Five case.” Each episode will focus on one of the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise – who were wrongly convicted of raping Meili in Central Park. The series will span from 1989, when they were first questioned about the incident, to 2014 when they were exonerated and reached a settlement with the city of New York.

In 2013, filmmaker Ken Burns produced and directed The Central Park Five, a two-hour documentary for PBS about the case. You can stream Burns’ film with an Amazon Prime subscription; rent it for $2.99 in SD or $3.99 in HD from Google Play. The film is also available from iTunes and YouTube.

Here’s a trailer for Burns’ documentary:


About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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