How "When They See Us" Shows Our Flawed System

In 1989 5 Harlem teens were falsely convicted of brutally assaulting and raping a young female jogger in Central Park. Netflix dropped a new mini-series called, "When They See Us" to display the case of the 'Central Park 5' and how broken and devastating our criminal justice system is.

When They See Us | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Investigators were quick to focus on a large group of Black and Hispanic boys that were running in Central Park that night, causing trouble and mayhem. Dubbed as a "Wolf pack" by media, police were going to hound in on those boys, narrowing it down to five and charged them with attempted murder, assault, and rape of Trisha Meili.

Director and creator of the Netflix miniseries described her reasoning behind creating this was to "Humanize boys, and now men, who are widely regarded as criminals, and in doing that, to invite the audience to re-interrogate everyone that they define as a criminal."

The five boys, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise were all convicted, serving thirteen years between all of them, even with a lack of evidence, racial injustice, and corruption, that's still present even in today's criminal justice system.

In 2002, the real perpetrator confessed to the rape of Trisha Meili, and it was at that point that the five boys were exonerated. Korey Wise, although exonerated, spent thirteen years in prison, as he was charged as an adult. It was revealed that DNA testing proved that none of these boys could've committed the rape, that they couldn't have committed this crime, but thanks to our flawed justice system, they were convicted.

Now, if you're someone like me, who believes that our criminal justice system still needs improvement, you were yelling at your computer or wherever you were watching this miniseries. I wasn't alive at the time of this case, nor had I really heard about it prior to this series being released, but, it saddens me that even today, we still have to deal with racial injustice in our justice system. These five boys were forced to say they committed this attack, without lawyers, held for hours by the NYPD, even though they maintained their innocence throughout the entire trial.

I'm hoping that maybe this miniseries will open more eyes, allow people to see that the race issue is still prevalent in our justice system today and there needs to be some improvement in regards to how people of color are treated by those that are higher up with the law. Crazy to me that we seem to be moving backward in a negative direction instead of moving things towards a more positive future. The case of the Central Park 5, like many other cases involving young black men put up against words or statements from white people, displays the true issue of race. This isn't the 1960's, we're supposed to be moving towards equality, not segregation. A black child should not have to fear walking on the sidewalk by themselves wearing a hoodie that a cop will stop them and question what they have in their pockets.

Our criminal justice system needs improvement, drastically, and it needs to start now. Not in 10 years, not twenty years, right now. Period.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Politics and Activism

4 Ways The Plan To Deport International Students Is Dumb, According To An Exchange Student

The whole policy isn't very stay-in-place, if you ask me.

Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, July 6, new federal guidelines were announced that do not allow international students to remain in the U.S. unless they are taking classes in person. Which, if you ask me, is stupid.

Keep Reading... Show less

Naya Rivera Is Missing, And She Deserves SO Much More Than Being Labeled 'Big Sean's' Ex'

We are all sending prayers to Naya Rivera hoping she finds them so we can find her.

I woke up this morning looking to find Naya Rivera's name trending No. 1 on Twitter. I was reading all of everyone's prayers wishing to find her so she can be reunited with her baby boy who is only 4 years old.

Naya's son's name is Lord and the entire collective is hoping the Lord is with him right now. I'm a firm believer in the Fear of God, I hope all of Naya's love is protecting Lord right now.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still surging in the United States, where we are averaging 50,000 cases daily, wearing a face mask has become even more important. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has stressed the importance of wearing a mask and is pleading Americans to take notice of the "disturbing" rise in cases. It would be common sense to listen to him, considering we are dealing with a virus that has a mortality rate higher than what we have seen with other viruses.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Sex Toys You NEED To Turn Up The Heat This Summer

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but...

It's your fairy sex godmother back at it again and here to tell you that masturbating is an essential need, just like toilet paper.

It comes with so many benefits, besides cumming. According to the New York City Health Department, "you are your safest sex partner" during a pandemic, so why not use the best toys to get the job done? Shopping for the best fit can be tricky because there are a few factors to consider — whether it's the price point, experience, sound, and more.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 3 Smoothies Totally Cleared My Acne-Prone And Scarred Skin

How I drank my way to flawless skin.

With this summer being the first of its kind for most people to be in the midst of a global pandemic, almost everyone is beginning to have an overall focus on improving their health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone remembers the first time they went to one of the Disney parks. Spinning in teacups and having Goofy wrap his arms around my 8-year-old self were some of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm surely not alone in that.

Keep Reading... Show less

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments