I remember this headline. We always read The Daily News at our house.
I remember reading the article which told of a woman attacked and raped in Central Park. One sentence etched upon my mind: “when she cried out for help, one of the men said ‘Shut up bitch’ and hit her in the face with a rock.”
I remember watching the TV news, telling about a woman attacked by a gang of men, who were just out “Wilding”, looking for someone to hurt–
As a female, I was terrified by this news. Gangs were just roaming, Wilding, looking for women alone.
I remember when Donald Trump took out that full page ad in the newspaper. For me, it wasn’t about race, it was about GENDER. Assuming the “news” was true, yes, please give the death penalty to men who gang rape women!
The “news” reported that the five confessed, making it sound like they were bragging about it. More fear-mongering– that’s what Fake News does.
But last night I watched the Netflix series When They See Us. I learned that it was a woman creating the narrative, and that’s exactly what she wanted me to believe: a group of out of control men raped a woman.
I learned that the suspects were not men, but kids, who were not allowed to have their parents present during questioning.
I learned that these kids were beaten, threatened, and coerced into false confessions. They were forced to blame each other. And it was recorded on tape– which proved to be the nail in the coffin.
I learned that these suspects were presented as rapists so that the city could quickly close the case so that tourism would not be affected.
I learned that the prosecutor believed in their innocence at first, but decided her career was more important.
I learned that these cops were indeed racist, and didn’t give these kids their rights, and treated them miserably.
But there are things I did already know:
Prison is no place for kids. Inmates are cruel and Corrections Officers can be crueler.
We have trusted the media to give us information for too long.
Everyone has an agenda.
Thankfully these kids, now men, have been exonerated and the true rapist is behind bars.
But the scars of the past can never be truly healed, and the millions of dollars awarded to them is a drop in the bucket.
When. When. When will justice prevail in our courts?
Why did it take 30 years for the truth to be presented?