Like many people—but still never, ever enough—I watched When They See Us and was utterly and completely horrified. Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, and Raymond Santana were once five teenagers with their whole lives ahead of them until April of 1989. Then, suddenly, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, they suddenly became known as the Central Park Five—monsters who had attacked a white woman and left her for dead when they were out “wilding” in the park. It didn’t matter that the detectives assigned to the case couldn’t come up with anything to prove the boys had been at the scene of the crime, or that every single so-called confession was coerced through the most brutal of tactics; it didn’t even matter that those “confessions” varied wildly in detail, both from each other and from the actual facts of the case.
All that mattered to Linda Fairstein, who was in charge of overseeing the prosecution, was making sure someone, these boys specifically, paid for what was done to Trisha Meili. Or at least that’s what she would lead the public to believe, to the point where, even following the Five’s exoneration in 2002, she refused to admit that anything she had done was wrong. It was all done in the name of “justice” for Trisha Meili, after all.
Sure, Linda. Let’s take a look at how much you, and our justice system, have been proven to care about victims of sexual assault and in a totally-fair-and-not-racist way, to boot. Plenty of people of color have raised their voices and written countless articles about this; but since nobody cares to listen, maybe one more person putting the word out will turn some heads. Doubt it, but…here we go.