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Yusef Salaam, Central Park 5 Survivor, Elected to ny metropolis Council

Yusef Salaam wins NYC Council Seat

Exonerated Central Park five-member Yusef Salaam wins NYC council seat. Yusef Salaam, both an author and an activist, has won a seat in the New York City Council. He is famous for wrongly going to prison in the 1989 Central Park Five case.

Salam is a Democrat and will represent the Harlem district on the New York City council. He ran unopposed for the seat in one of the many election runs across New York. He won in a landslide.

Exonerated Central Park five-member Yusef Salaam wins NYC council seat. “In my darkest moments, when seemingly the world was against the so-called Central Park Five, I never gave up hope,” said Salaam in a statement after the election. “Tonight, this victory represents hope for our Harlem community.”

He continued, “To my four brothers who went through that vilification and then exoneration, this win is for those scared kids decades ago who were railroaded through the criminal injustice system that wanted us dead. We survived because we knew we were right, and eventually, the world did, too.”

This sweet victory of Salaam came after almost two decades of his misfortune in 1989 when DNA evidence was replaced to accuse Salaam and four other Black and Latino men in a rape beating case of a White jogger in Central Park. At the age of 15, Salaam was accused and arrested and was imprisoned for seven years.

Other falsely accused guys arrested with Salaam were Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise. These teenagers were imprisoned between five to 12 years before the case was reinvestigated.

The crime dominated the City headlines back in 1989 and sparked racial tension among both communities. Anti-racial protest was a serious urge back then centering on this false case.

Several years later, a serial rapist and murderer was linked to the case and confessed guilty to the crime. The Conviction of the Central Park Five was removed in 2002 and they were given $41 million as a settlement by the city council.

Sallam’s election campaign was focused on easing poverty and protesting against gentrification in Harlem. He often used injustice against him as an example which helped him to win the election unopposed.

“I am coming to City Hall at a time of great crisis,” he said. “The hard work begins now. My pledge to the community is that you will always see me, be able to talk to me, and reach me — because I am from these streets. This community was there for me when nobody else was, and now it is the honor of a lifetime to give back. We have a lot of work to do, and it won’t be easy, but I am ready to put everything into it. This community expects and deserves nothing less.”


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