The Central Park Five: The True Story Behind Netflix’s Miniseries, ‘When They See Us ‘ On April 19, 1989, everything changed for New York City teenagers Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise.
The Central Park Five were Kevin Richardson, 14, Raymond Santana, 14, Antron McCray, 15, Yusef Salaam, 15, and 16-year-old Korey Wise.
Here’s a side-by-side breakdown of the major cast and their real life counterparts. Jharrel Jerome (Korey Wise) Antron McCray (Caleel Harris, Jovan Adepo) Yusef Salaam (Ethan Herisse, Chris Chalk) Kevin Richardson (Asante Blackk, Justin Cunningham) Raymond Santana (Marquis Rodriguez, Freddy Miyares)
What does the title mean? The brains behind the series, director, producer and filmmaker Ava DuVernay, told The Daily Show that the reason she changed the title from The Central Park Five to When They See Us was to ask the pertinent question of how the boys were found guilty without any evidence.
Fairstein was dropped by her publisher and resigned from several organizations last year after the series inspired scrutiny over her role in the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of five teenagers of color in the 1990s.
“It’s a disgrace” After the city awarded the five men $41 million in a settlement, Trump maintained that the men — who were young teenagers when convicted — were still guilty. Trump in an op-ed published in the New York Daily News suggested that “settling doesn’t mean innocence.”
Confessing to the Central Park Jogger rape Through all of his initial questioning, Matias never once mentioned his connection to the Central Park Jogger case. In fact, it wasn’t until he met Korey Wise in prison that he even considered owning up to this particular crime.
Eventually, Korey met murderer and serial rapist Matias Reyes in prison, and Matias confessed to be to being the actual, lone perpetrator of the Central Park Jogger rape. A DNA test (along with Matias’s knowledge of the details of the crime) confirmed his guilt, and in 2002, Korey was released from prison.
Their chance encounter led Reyes to admit to the Central Park rape, and exonerated the so-called Central Park Five through DNA confirmation. Wise was 30 when he was finally released.
Wise, now 46, was 16 years old at the time of his conviction. He was convicted of assault, sexual abuse and riot. Unlike his exonerated Central Park 5 counterparts, he was charged as an adult and sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.
However, Korey Wise (Jharrel Jerome) ended up doing 12 years in an adult prison due to being 16 at the time of the trial. During his time in prison, he met fellow prisoner Matias Reyes who eventually confessed to committing the crime for which Wise had been wrongfully convicted.
He is my hero. But he gave up on me. You know, I was telling the truth and he just told me to lie,” he said. McCray testified at Antron’s trial, and subsequently passed away sometime after his son’s conviction, per Vanity Fair.
In 2014, they were awarded a $41 million settlement, though the City of New York denied any wrongdoing.
The four juvenile defendants served 6– 7 years each; the 16-year-old was tried and sentenced as an adult and served 13 years in an adult prison. The five other defendants, indicted for assaults of other victims, pleaded guilty to reduced charges and received less severe sentences.
When the first trial began in August 1990 against Salaam, Santana and McCray, Meili agreed to testify. On the witness stand, she talked about what her normal running practices had been and what she had been wearing that night. “I remember I was very nervous,” she said.