Debut of Ken Burns’ ‘The Central Park Five’ Documentary Met with Contempt

(from left to right) Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam, also known as the Central Park Five await their fate in court in 1989.

New York City is still reeling over a heinous crime committed in the city’s sacred Central Park in 1989.  But this time around, the political crusher that came down on five youth and sent them to jail in a crucial part of their development is on trial.

Five youth that became known as the Central Park Five consists of Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, and Antron McCray.  In the new Ken Burns’ documentary, you take an unbelievable ride through the true story of the falsely accused boys’ lives as they were locked in jails for more than a decade and proven to be innocent 13 years after the crime. Wise would be the lone accused to be charged as an adult and serve his time in a maximum security prison.  The others served in juvenile facilities.

But the political pressure cooker that coerced a false confession from each of the boys would divide the city, destroy the boys, their families, and throw speculation on the city’s criminal investigation that was either swept under the rug and ignored or used for political fodder for the police department and city officials to appear to be cleaning up the city’s crime.

Ken Burns is a phenomenally thorough documentary director and he has left no stone unturned in implicating the New York officials that would ignore the clear evidence of the boys’ innocence.  The boys have never been compensated for their false imprisonment.  Each of the five are suing the city for $50 million.

Burns said to New York Magazine in its November 26, 2012, issue:

“The outrage that I feel comes from the fact that people were readily willing to sacrifice the lives of five young men, that they were expendable, that they’re still stuck in a lie, and that the institutional protectionism continues.”

The city is still in denial and refuses to acknowledge the documentary and would seek to prevent the documentary from being aired, but Ken Burns is fighting and not turning over any of his film to the city. The documentary is set to hit theatres Friday, November 23.

Check out the explosive trailer below. Read the full article here on the documentary and Ken Burns’ fight to have the truth revealed and what it means to New York’s officials once the truth is exposed on Friday.

-J.C. Brooks

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