Central Park Jogger
A young woman was viciously raped in New York City’s Central Park in 1989, and the case that followed became a watershed moment in American criminal history. Trisha Meili, the victim, went into a coma after sustaining life-threatening injuries. The incident provoked widespread outrage and exposed long-suppressed concerns about crime and racism in the community.
Although there was no physical evidence linking the “Central Park Five,” five Black and Latino adolescents were detained and eventually convicted based on pressured confessions. This case brought to light racial tensions and problems with the administration of justice.
DNA evidence supported the confession of convicted murderer and serial rapist Matias Reyes that he committed the attack in 2002, which led to the exoneration of the Central Park Five. Because of the case’s prominence, people began talking about racism in the court system, media bias, and other problems within the criminal justice system.