A ‘Central Park Five’ Survivor’s Tear-Filled Plea: ‘Trump Put a Bounty On Our Heads’

Mario Tama/Getty

Mario Tama/Getty

LOS ANGELES, California—The five men who were arrested as teenagers, falsely convicted, sentenced to years in prison, and eventually exonerated for the rape and assault of a white jogger in Central Park in 1989, have never been keen on the name “Central Park Five.” They avoid the phrase when possible. It was not a moniker they chose, but one given to them by the press: by outlets that regularly printed their legal names, though all five were underage; by tabloids that often failed to write “allegedly” when describing their charges; by papers that ran full-page ads from a playboy real estate developer with latent political ambitions, attacking them in huge black font: “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY.”

Friday afternoon, at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California’s 25th Annual Luncheon, where the five men were being honored, much care was taken to orient the celebration away from that phrase, and toward the five people it had obscured: Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, and Raymond Santana. . .

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