Meek Mill Speaks Out About The Central Park Five Following Netflix's 'When They See Us'
3 June 2019, 16:21 | Updated: 3 June 2019, 17:11
Rapper Meek Mill hits out at "the system", in response to Netflix's 'When They See Us'.
Since its release on Netflix, Ava DuVernay's poignant miniseries 'When They See Us' has garnered international acclaim and support, as it brings the historic case against the 'Central Park Five' to the forefront of the public's consciousness.
The powerful four-part series not only exposes flaws in the US judicial system, after five children of African American and Hispanic descent were wrongfully convicted in the Central Park jogger case of 1989, it also highlights the fallout the five and their families had to deal with years later.
Now, celebs and viewers alike are speaking out about the case, including rapper Meek Mill and Oprah Winfrey.
Taking to Twitter on Saturday 1 June, Meek said: "'When They See Us' is super emotional if you been thru the system! Thank you to Ava and all the creators of this series!"
He then implored his 7.82million followers to "Watch it on Netflix".
“When they see us” is super emotional if you been thru the system! Thank you Ava and all the creators of this series!— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) June 1, 2019
Meek isn't alone, though. Oprah Winfrey, who attended the premiere of 'The Way They See Us' last week, praised Ava DuVernay, adding: "The compelling story of five Black and Latino teenagers wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit is a story that must be seen. Hope you stream it today on @netflix."
Last week I went to the premiere of #WhenTheySeeUs, and let me tell you...@ava’s done it again. The compelling story of five Black and Latino teenagers wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit is a story that must be seen. Hope you stream it today on @netflix. pic.twitter.com/QwF10xT9N4— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) May 31, 2019
Singer SZA also reacted to the Netflix series, stating: "19 mins into #WhenTheySeeUs AND IM SICK . Ew yo just ew ."
Honing in on how important it is for this story to be told, Ella Mai wrote: "i really just want to commend everyone that played any type of part in the making of @WhenTheySeeUs .. this story is so important. you all SMASHED it!"
What is 'When They See Us' about?
On April 19, 1989, investment banker Trisha Meili was jogging through Central Park, when she was brutally raped and left for dead. Not only did she suffer life-changing injuries, she was placed into a 12-day coma and left with no recollection of the attack.
Shortly after, police picked up five children of African American and Hispanic descent - Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana - reportedly questioning them for over 24 hours straight, without a legal guardian or lawyer present. They were also deprived of food, water and sleep throughout questioning.
Despite the fact witness statements didn't corroborate the five's testimonies, and the kids repeatedly denying any involvement in the crime, they were coerced into giving false confessions, which ultimately led to their conviction in 1990.
The five - who were collectively referred to as the Central Park Five - were between the ages of 14-15, and spent between 6-14 years in prison.
It was only in 2002 that the Central Park Five were exonerated for the crime, after Matias Reyes, who was already serving time for another brutal attack, confessed to the crime. Reyes' DNA matched the samples collected from the crime scene at the time.
Later on, in 2014, the five men were offered the largest settlement in New York State history, receiving a total of $41million.
Where are the Central Park Five now?
Korey Wise is the only one of the five who still resides in New York City. He founded an innocence project under his name in 2015, which offers those who have been wrongfully-convicted pro-bono legal counsel.
Raymond Santana now has a daughter named Melleah and has moved to Georgia. He owns the clothing company, Park Madison NYC.
Anton McCray is now married with six kids, residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Yusef Salaam also lives in Georgia with his wife and kids. He is a published author and public spokeperson, who advocates change in the US criminal system.
Kevin Richardson now lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.