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Central Park Five’s Yusef Salaam Wins Democratic City Council Primary | New York

Yusef Salaam One of the acquitted Central Park Fivewas confirmed as the winner of the Democratic primary and nearly secured a seat on the New York City Council, but was falsely accused, convicted, and imprisoned of assault and assault charges as a teenager. This is an unbelievable feat for a political novice. People jogging in Central Park.

A follow-up vote announced Wednesday showed Salaam as the clear winner of the primary representing Central Harlem. what happened last week.

“I am here because you, Harlem, have believed in me,” he said in his victory speech.

Salaam, now 49, and four other black and Latino teens became known as the Central Park Five in 1985. They became known as the Central Park Five. The case, one of America’s most notorious and racially charged crimes, was highly publicized. new york history.

Salaam served nearly seven years in prison before DNA evidence proved the group innocent.

He’s now defeated two veterans, New York City Councilmen Inez Dickens, 73, and Al Taylor, 65. Incumbent Democratic Socialist Christine Richardson Jordan withdrew from the race in May but remained on the ballot.

salaam declared victory His vote share was barely above 50%, but the number of absentee ballots has yet to be counted. However, his lead over Dickens seemed irreversible, and she and Taylor conceded.

While all three candidates focus on promoting affordable housing, curbing gentrification and alleviating poverty, Mr. Salaam wants the Central Park Five to account for about three-quarters of the population. He took advantage of being a celebrity in a neighborhood he saw as a living symbol of the injustices faced by blacks and Latinos who make up the majority of the population. of the population of the district.

Zambi Mwendowa said she voted for Mr Salaam because he was a “rookie” and not because of his past corruption.

“I’ve heard him talk. He seems to talk about things that I care about,” Mwendowa said.

But for others, Salaam’s status as a member of the Central Park Five was the motivation.

“He came from a neighborhood and turned himself in after being imprisoned,” said Carnation France. “He’s trying to do something for people.”

Mr. Salaam’s lack of public service experience may have played in his favor, said Amani Wells Onioha, a partner at Sole Strategies who replaced Mr. Salaam.

“In times like these, when people are looking for heroes, they are looking for people who can empathize with them,” said Wells-O’Nyoha. “I think people saw him as a survivor. His legitimacy was proven, and the system ended up working well for him.”

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After his release, Salaam moved to Georgia and became an activist, speaker, author and poet.he returned to New York in December.

He was 15 when he was arrested, along with Antron McCrae, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Corey Wise, and served five to 12 years in prison before prosecutors agreed to reinvestigate the case.

DNA evidence and confessions linked a serial rapist and murderer to the attack, but too much time had passed and no charges were filed. The conviction was reversed in 2002, and the city agreed to pay compensation to the acquitted men. $41 million total.

In the 2012 Ken Burns documentary, The Central Park Five, rekindled public attention. In 2019, a TV miniseries, when they see uscame back into the spotlight just before the Black Lives Matter movement kicked off following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.

Burns and co-directors applauded Harlem voters for “electing a man who gave his life to reconciliation.”

Donald Trump ran ads in four newspapers in 1989 calling for “reinstatement of the death penalty” against the Central Park Five, but later apologized, saying all five pleaded guilty to forced confessions. Rejected. Salaam reminded voters of this in April by running his own full-page ad headlined “Restore Justice and Fairness” against one of Trump’s own indictments. Central Park Five’s Yusef Salaam Wins Democratic City Council Primary | New York

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