A member of the Central Park Five slammed former mayor Michael Bloomberg Thursday for blocking a multi-million dollar settlement over the group’s wrongful prosecution.
“We all might vote for a different candidate, but I’m sure [any other Democrat] will be better than Michael Bloomberg,” said Kevin Richardson, who was one of the five teens wrongly convicted in the horrific 1989 attack of then-28-year-old jogger, Trisha Meili.
Richardson spoke at an event outside the 2020 Democratic hopeful’s campaign office in Manhattan.
“It wasn’t about the lawsuit. It was about getting our life back,” he said of the settlement. “At the end of the day, no amount of money could equal what we endured.”
“Don’t let these ads get to you. Don’t be bamboozled by this,” Richardson added, attacking Bloomberg campaign’s massive spending on commercials. “We know personally who Michael Bloomberg is, and I’m here to step forward and let you know it’s time to vote, it’s time for our voices to be heard.”
Former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau in 2002 cleared Richardson and four others — Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — of the vicious rape that left Meili in a coma.
Their exoneration came after a nine-month review of the case uncovered significant evidence that was not provided to the jury during the initial trial, including DNA that linked serial rapist Matias Reyes to the crime.
Reyes also confessed to the attack and said he committed it alone, but the statement came after the statute of limitations expired.
The five sued the city in 2003 demanding $250 million for their wrongful conviction and imprisonment.
Their lawsuit dragged on for more than a decade as Bloomberg opposed striking a deal with the men, a stance reversed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
City Hall paid $41 million to settle the lawsuit in 2014.
In response, the Bloomberg campaign issued a statement that did not directly address the former mayor’s handling of the controversial case, but pointed to his apology for backing stop-and-frisk and added: “Mike will continue the dialogue he is having across the country on issues important to the Black and Latino community.”
Source: Read Full Article