Perhaps you remember the story.
A female jogger was mugged and raped late at night in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The attack was as brutal as it gets. Police sought and then arrested five young men and charged them with deadly assault on the woman.
The case involved serious racial overtones. The woman is white; the five young men are black and Latino.
Authorities convicted the men and sent them to prison.
Well, the convictions were overturned, but the men sued New York City police officials and prosecutors, seeking justice for their false imprisonment. They have just won a $40 million settlement.
The New York Times reported: “The agreement, reached between the city’s Law Department and the five plaintiffs, would bring to an end an extraordinary legal battle over a crime that came to symbolize a sense of lawlessness in New York, amid reports of ‘wilding’ youths and a marauding ‘wolf pack’ that set its sights on a 28-year-old investment banker who ran in the park many evenings after work.”
Just as interesting is that the case was brought back to public attention with the acclaimed PBS documentary film, “The Central Park Five,” which was broadcast in 2013 on Panhandle PBS.
Indeed, the making of the film became the subject of controversy by itself when authorities sought to obtain the notes of the filmmaker, Ken Burns. The courts ended up ruling in favor of Burns and denied the request for the notes.
The video, which was aired in April of this past year, can be seen on this link: