Central Park 5

Donald Traill/Invision/AP

Activists Call On DA To Investigate Central Park Five Prosecutor

June 05, 2019 - 6:45 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) — Activists took to Lower Manhattan Wednesday to call on the Manhattan District Attorney to reopen past cases tried by the same prosecutors who helped wrongfully convict the Central Park Five.

The calls were renewed 17 years after the exoneration of the five men – who were wrongful convicted in the 1989 rape and beating of a female jogger in Central Park – thanks to Netflix’s new documentary on the case, “When They See Us.”

“No one who can watch that movie, can say that something criminal did not happen,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

He joined activists Wednesday to demand Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance investigate former sex crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein.

Williams feels Fairstein, who recently resigned from at least two nonprofit boards over backlash from the Netflix documentary, should also be disbarred.

He notes that she played a role in helping to convict the five teens of color, despite the fact that DNA evidence did not match any of them. Fairstein observed the boys' interrogation, but did not personally try the case.

“Someone had intentionally said, ‘we're gonna stuff this square peg in this round hole no matter what we have to do,’” he said.

As a prop, Williams also brought in a newspaper advertisement from 1989, paid for by Donald Trump. In it, the then-real estate executive called for the five boys to be executed.

The five men had their convictions overturned in 2002 after convicted murderer and serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the crime and DNA evidenced linked him to the scene.

DA Vance’s office said in a statement that the Central Park Five case will be reviewed, but noted that an investigation into the case in 2002 found no evidence of misconduct.

(© 2019 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)