Yusef Salaam, one of the exonerated Central Park 5, is working for workplace.
Salaam formally introduced his candidacy for a extremely coveted City Council seat in Harlem’s ninth District on Saturday.
Salaam and 4 different minors, who had been all Black and Latino, had been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for the rape of a white jogger in Central Park in 1989. Salaam, who was 15 at the time, served virtually seven years in jail earlier than he was exonerated.
“We are here now to chart a new path forward,” he stated throughout a speech at the outdated Harlem YMCA on one hundred and thirty fifth Avenue.
Many years earlier than he grew to become president, Donald Trump took out a full-page advert calling for the Central Park 5 to face the dying penalty, which Salaam referenced in his announcement.
“In a country that’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, they saw the color of our skin and said ‘Guilty, guilty, guilty,’” he stated. “It would have been OK if Donald Trump had taken out a full-page ad when we were found to be innocent.”
In 2002, a decide vacated the convictions of Salaam and the 4 different members of the Central Park 5 after the Manhattan district legal professional’s workplace filed a movement with a brand new concept of the case — and a special suspect. Prosecutors stated that after conducting a brand new investigation, they not believed that Salaam and the others had dedicated the crime.
Since then, Salaam has written a memoir, develop into a motivational speaker and has advocated for prison justice reform. His case has additionally been documented in books, a documentary and a Netflix miniseries.
The town of New York agreed in 2014 to pay $41 million to the Central Park 5 for the years they spent in jail, with greater than $7 million going to Salaam. The town devoted a “Gate of the Exonerated” at the northeast entrance of Central Park of their honor in December.
Salaam is difficult Harlem Councilmember Kristin Richardson Jordan for her seat. The incumbent councilmember didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. However after Salaam first shared that he was contemplating a run final fall, Richardson Jordan stated in an announcement to the information website Patch: “I think we have enough millionaires in office already. That is part of the problem.”
Richardson Jordan, who calls herself a third-generation Harlemite, has recognized as a democratic socialist and ran on a progressive platform that known as for free public transportation, jail abolition and cuts to the NYPD price range. She has been a staunch advocate for inexpensive housing, elevating issues a few plan to redevelop a stretch of 145th Avenue that she feared would displace residents if not sufficient models had been made inexpensive.
She gained the major in the blue district by lower than one share level. In the common election, she earned greater than 94% of the vote.
State Assemblymembers Inez Dickens and Al Taylor have additionally stated they plan to problem Richardson Jordan in the June major.