In the early 90’s a group of four African-American and one Latino teenagers were arrested for violently assaulting and raping a woman to then leaving her to death in Central Park. These five kids were questioned excessively, without the power of a attorney, they were tried in court and convicted without reasonable and precised truth and evidence about the case. The citizens in this big city were outraged by this act, even asking for the death penalty if circumstances were available. It was one the most controversial cases on that decade. But what really happened, it certainly opened Pandora box on this one. These kids who spend more than a decade on bars, who were beaten, humiliated, barred from their freedom, destroyed their dreams and hopes for their future, were pushed, mistreated by the Police Department into convincing they did it.
In the end it was only one man, Mattias Reyes confessed to the authorities he was the perpetrator of this vicious attack, and the DNA proved consistent with his words. He is charged and convicted while receiving life in prison. In the coming decades these 5 young men sued the city for emotional distress, racial discrimination and malicious persecution. They got awarded 42 million dollars on their behalf and they’re also suing for another 52 million dollars for damages as well citing:
“When you have a person who has been exonerated of a crime, the city provides no services to transition him back to society. The only thing left is something like this — so you can receive some type of money so you can survive.”
Daily News, New York
These young men were at the wrong place, at the wrong time and got their futures shattered in the process.
Now in 2015, it turns out history was about to repeat itself…
Now, another group 5 youngsters were arrested for raping and sodomizing a young woman who was at a different park with her father. By the father’s accounts, they were initially having a drink and talking when the youngsters came by using a gun to force him out of the area while they were taking turns raping her. It drew the same and even worse outrage since Central Park Five where in the era of racial tension it’s becoming more evident that without proof and evidence before hand these youngsters were going to have the same or worse fate because of their racial identity.
But… this is not the same outcome.
In the coming weeks of the investigation, they came out with revealing points about the case. The father of the victim as well as the daughter were having consensual sex in the park. There were no gun, no rape, no gang bang. It was just a depraved incident of incest. And these 5 youngsters were set free. The reality of it all, is that they’re NOT going to be free from the trauma, the humiliation and the emotional scars they have been put through from the moment of their arrest to the persecution and nearly conviction for something they actually didn’t do. How many Black young men are going to be subject to this epidemic while the real perpetrators are roaming free? How can the Police Department is going to be forgiven multiple times for the destruction of young Black men? How the Justice Department and Authorities doesn’t have an fair ruling when it comes to get the facts straight before doing their first move?
Because, there’s a barrier between freedom and imprisonment. You commit a crime, you pay the time only if there’s enough evidence to put you to jail. But with lies and deceit along with racial tension and inequality, it will draw a lot of Black males to be marked for the rest of their lives.