Wrongly Convicted Central Park 5 Member Yusef Salaam Looking to Run for Harlem Senate Seat

According to the Daily News, Central Park 5 member, Yusef Salaam is interested in running for NY State Senate in Harlem, which is the seat left vacant by Harlem state Sen. Brian Benjamin. Benjamin is the new Lieutenant governor, appointed by Governer Kathy Hochul, after she took over for Andrew Cuomo.

Sources close to Salaam said he plans to focus on issues of wrongful conviction, criminal justice and prison reform, police brutality and abolishing juvenile solitary confinement.

The Central Park Five, Salaam, Kharey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, and Raymond Santana, were exonerated after being wrongly arrested, convicted and jailed in a racially polarizing rape case in the 80s of a white female jogger in the Manhattan park. The five men were exonerated after another prison inmate, Matias Reyes, confessed to being the person who raped the jogger, which was proven by DNA evidence.

Salaam served seven years in prison on first-degree rape and robbery charges. His conviction was vacated five years after he was released from prison. Salaam has been working as a public speaker, author and activist.

A special election to fill the Harlem Senate seat will most likely take place in November.

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