NEW YORK (PIX11) — The Gate of the Exonerated in Central Park was named in honor of the five men who were wrongfully convicted when they were teenagers of a brutal rape in the park in 1989.
This is the first named entrance to the famed park since 1862. The gate will be inscribed in sandstone at the northern end of the park, according to John Reddick of the Central Park Conservancy.
Reddick said the community was searching for a way to pay tribute to the men when he noticed several gates around the popular park were named in honor of New York City citizens.
“We will be able to look back at this history that’s tied to the park and also speak to the next generations for justice and fairness,” he said on PIX11 Morning News on Monday.
The Central Park Five — Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, who spent time in prison for allegedly assaulting a young woman jogging in the park — were exonerated by a confession from convicted murderer Matias Reyes and subsequent DNA evidence testing.
“The Gate of the Exonerated symbolizes the resiliency of the Exonerated Five and all those who have been wrongfully convicted and serves as a lasting reminder of the grave miscarriage of justice that took place more than three decades ago,” Mayor Eric Adams told the Associated Press.
Watch the full interview in the video player.
This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press.