Five men– who became known as the “Central Park Five” in their teens– are being honored at the park where their lives had tragically changed.
On Monday, New York City unveiled the “Gate of the Exonerated” in Central Park to honor Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Yusef Salaam.
In 1989, a white, female jogger accused them of brutally beating and raping her. The so-called Central Park jogger case gained national attention and, later, it was depicted in the Ava DuVernay-directed Netflix series “When They See Us.”
The Central Park Five was later exonerated in 2002, after Matias Reyes, who had no connection to the young men, confessed to the attack.
Santana said Monday’s unveiling was the first time he returned to the park, CNN reports. “We’re babies, that had no dealing with the law, never knew what Miranda was, but we’re here now,” he said. “Over 300 articles written about us in the first three weeks of this case, dissecting the lives of 14- and 15-year-old kids.”
He recalled the media calling them “urban terrorists” and a “wolfpack” amid a racially charged atmosphere that villainized the youth.
The entryway, which reads “Gate of The Exonerated Five” can be found on the northern side of the park at 110th St between Fifth Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard.