Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now It's a Done Deal - Paramount Pictures Will Distribute Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Worldwide It's a Done Deal - Paramount Pictures Will Distribute Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Worldwide Interview: Taraji P. Henson On 'No Good Deed' and A Woman's Intuition Interview: Taraji P. Henson On 'No Good Deed' and A Woman's Intuition Crowdfund This: 'Newlyweeds' Star Trae Harris Is a 150-year-old African American Vampire in 'Octavia' Crowdfund This: 'Newlyweeds' Star Trae Harris Is a 150-year-old African American Vampire in 'Octavia' Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism Issa Rae + ColorCreative.TV to Premiere 3 New Television Pilots at Urbanworld Film Festival Issa Rae + ColorCreative.TV to Premiere 3 New Television Pilots at Urbanworld Film Festival First Release Poster for 'Dear White People' Illustrates One Thing White People Shouldn't Do to Black People First Release Poster for 'Dear White People' Illustrates One Thing White People Shouldn't Do to Black People Why Byron Allen Is the Biggest TV Producer Working Today... Period. Why Byron Allen Is the Biggest TV Producer Working Today... Period. African Americans on TV Guide’s "TV’s Highest Paid Stars 2014" List. You Might Be Surprised African Americans on TV Guide’s "TV’s Highest Paid Stars 2014" List. You Might Be Surprised Delicious Extended Trailer for 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Debuts. Watch It Here. Delicious Extended Trailer for 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' Debuts. Watch It Here. After Bidding War, Paramount in Talks to Acquire Chris Rock’s 'Top Five' for $12.5 Million After Bidding War, Paramount in Talks to Acquire Chris Rock’s 'Top Five' for $12.5 Million TIFF 2014 Review: Full of Black Stereotypes, 'Black and White' is a Movie About Race That Avoids Its Subject TIFF 2014 Review: Full of Black Stereotypes, 'Black and White' is a Movie About Race That Avoids Its Subject Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Report: The 'Central Park 5' and New York City Reach $40 Million Settlement Ending Lengthy Civil Suit

Indiewire By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 19, 2014 at 10:27PM

The confidential deal must still be approved by the city comptroller and then by a federal judge.
5
CP5

It was in November 2013 when then Mayor-elect of New York City Bill de Blasio, succeeding Michael Bloomberg, announced that he planned to settle the $250 million Central Park Five lawsuit against the city, which was filed over a decade ago.


This evening, 7 months later, The New York Times is reporting that the city and the Central Park Five (Kharey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana Jr) – who were wrongly convicted of the rape of a jogger in 1989 – have reached a $40 million settlement, not the $250 million the Five originally sued the city for. Although the deal still needs to be sealed by a federal judge and the city comptroller. And assuming that happens (it may be a matter of formalities), it will officially bring an end to this long and brutal civil rights lawsuit.

What struck me most, and continued to stay with me long after seeing Ken Burns' excellent documentary, "The Central Park Five," in 2012, was the fact that the titular gentlemen, now all adults, after serving lengthy sentences in prison for a crime they didn't commit, were still fighting for justice vis-à-vis the then unresolved civil suit, which they filed against the City of New York for their wrongful imprisonment, almost 10 years prior.

In 2002, all convictions against the 5 men were dismissed due to new evidence (including DNA) that suggested a previously convicted murderer-rapist was the culprit. A year later, in 2003, a multi-million-dollar federal lawsuit was filed by the 5 men for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination and emotional distress - a case, if you're intimately familiar with the particulars of the matter, or have seen Ken Burns' least subjective documentary, you'd believe would be a slam-dunk and should've been settled almost immediately.

Yet, 10 years later, the 5 men continued to wait for justice to serve them; the same so-called justice that rushed to convict them, despite the fact that there were holes in the evidence that was used against them at the time; notably, and maybe most significantly, the fact that DNA from none of the 5 men was found anywhere within the crime scene - an important piece of evidence that was glazed over, in favor of coerced testimony, without lawyers present, from each of the 5 then teens.

But that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg; there was far more evidence that suggested they had nothing whatsoever to do with the Central Park rape that took place in New York City's Central Park on April 19, 1989, than there was that would incline any officer of the court or jury to convict them of it.

The film was subpoenaed by lawyers representing NYC, wanting to examine outtakes and unused interview footage, which they hoped would help their defense against the $250 million suit. 

Burns, who co-directed the documentary with his daughter, Sarah Burns, and her husband, David McMahon, called the subpoena “outrageous,” and fought it, citing New York State’s shield laws, which are designed to protect journalists from having to compromise their sources.

It didn't take very long for a New York City federal court to block the attempt by the City, ruling that the filmmakers/production company had " established its independence in themaking of the film," and could claim the privilege.

“It’s been almost ten years,” Burns added. “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Indeed.

Attorneys for the CP5 argue that their lives were stolen from them, and that "it’s incumbent on those in this city who believe in truth, who believe in justice, who believe in morality to impress on Mr. de Blasio and others who have a responsibility of bringing about a proper settlement to make that a reality."

And thankfully, unlike his predecessor, then Mayor-elect de Blasio, despite the intransigence on the part of the cops and prosecutors, agreed to settle the case, putting an end to a civil matter that long faced heavy opposition under the Bloomberg administration; although it's not quite the $250 million figure the Five originally sued for ($50 million civil suits each), with reports at the time (last fall), saying that the sum would cripple the city if paid out.

The feature-length documentary, "The Central Park Five," which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012, is currently streaming on Netflix.

Read the full New York Times report here.

The 'Central Park 5'

This article is related to: FYI, The Central Park Five

Shadow & ActNewsletter