'Gate of the Exonerated' unveiled, honoring wrongly convicted Central Park Five

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Monday, December 19, 2022
'Gate of the Exonerated' unveiled, honoring Central Park Five
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The entrance to Central Park North between Malcolm X Boulevard and Fifth Avenue is now known as the "Gate of the Exonerated." Darla Miles has the story.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- For the first time in 160 years, Central Park has named one of its entrances, and it was celebrated with a special dedication ceremony Monday.

The entrance on Central Park North between Malcolm X Boulevard and Fifth Avenue is now known as the "Gate of the Exonerated."

Officials say the refashioned gate honors all who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes and acknowledges the ongoing struggle to ensure equal justice for all.

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It was inspired in particular by the exoneration of the group that came to be known as the Central Park Five: five Black and Latino teenagers wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park in 1989.

The verdict back then ignited racial tension in New York and across the country. Another man eventually confessed to the crime, his confession confirmed through DNA matching.

Monday's dedication took place exactly 20 years after the convictions of the Central Park Five were vacated.

Members of that group - Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise and Yusef Salaam - were on hand for the historic event, along with civil rights leaders and elected officials.

New York City's Public Design Commission unanimously approved the naming of the gate last week.

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