In 1989, five Black and Latin teenaged boys — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — were wrongfully accused of brutally raping a jogger in Central Park. In 2014, all five were exonerated and eventually received a $41 million settlement from the city of New York. Now, a Central Park entrance will be named in their honor.
According to New York radio station, the unnamed gate, which is near the northeast entrance to the park in Harlem, will now be known as “The Gate of the Exonerated.” The cost of chiseling the gate is approximately $100,000 and will be covered by the Central Park Conservancy. An unveiling ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 19.
Exenoree Yusef Salaam said in a statement to the New York Times, “This is about giving recognition to something that should have never happened. The gate is just one example of healing, and how our path to healing is continuous.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams called the gate a “lasting reminder of the grave miscarriage of justice that took place.”
In July, a sixth co-defendant, Steven Lopez, who was 15 years old when he was named in the indictment, was exonerated. Charges against him related to the attack were initially dropped, but he was sentenced to 1 1/2 and 4-1/2 years in state prison for a robbery the same night the Central Park jogger was attacked. However, a judge ruled that the plea agreement entered when Lopez was 17 was involuntary, unconstitutional, and based partly on false witness statements.
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