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Racism and the Central Park Five

AMADI AJAMU Special to the AmNews | 1/31/2013, 3:01 p.m.
'Central Park Five' film brings old feelings back to the surface

The Central Park five civil case is increasingly becoming the focal point of systemic racism in New York City and around the country. At the most recent hearing in federal court, New York City's Corporation Counsel continues to defiantly drag and stall the justice process for the five men who were exonerated in the "Central Park Jogger" case 10 years ago.

Over 200 people attended the hearing, which overflowed into an additional courtroom. Three of the five men--Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Yusef Salaam--were joined by their devoted families and friends, as well as many political activists and concerned folks who have been supporting the case through the years.

"The most important issue discussed at the hearing was the city's delay in turning over discovery materials pertaining to the NYPD's disciplinary records of key police detectives involved in the original case. Their excuse is the records are stored on optical disks and are too expensive to convert to an updated format. Frankly, the cost of the conversion was not a concern to the plaintiff lawyers. And as it turned out, the cost would be a fraction of what the city had originally told the court. We have a legal right to all discovery materials. The judge has ordered them to expedite the turnover of these files," attorney Roger Wareham explained.

"Also, the New York Times put in an application to intervene in the case to have discovery materials--now 'confidential'--made public. The judge denied their application because he said our legal team is very competently handling this issue," he concluded.