On Monday, a Central Park entrance was renamed the “Gate of the Exonerated” in honor of the “Exonerated Five.”
Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise are the group of five men wrongfully convicted for the rape of a jogger at Central Park in 1989.
One of the “Exonerated Five,” Raymond Santana, said, “I never reentered Central Park because of what happened to me and my fellow members of the Exonerated Five. Even when my daughter was born, there were moments I wanted to take her because of the beautiful playgrounds for the children, but I couldn’t bring myself to enter.”
He said, “Now that my daughter is an adult, it’s time for us to go to Central Park, see the Gate of the Exonerated, and once again be a part of the park community.”
“The commemoration of this entrance is bittersweet,” Salaam said. “This Gate of the Exonerated serves as a reminder of the love and support we have received. For that, I am truly thankful and honored — and recommitted to righting the wrongs of our criminal system of injustice to ensure our youth never face what we did.”
The unveiling of the Gate of the Exonerated caps several years of community talks and collaboration with the #CentralParkConservancy, @nycgov, @mancb10, and @nycparks. Read the story behind it on our magazine: https://t.co/eafRhTCC9C pic.twitter.com/MY1zi0PMjg
— Central Park (@CentralParkNYC) December 20, 2022