On April 19th, 1989, Trisha Meili was the victim of violent assault, rape, and sodomy. The vicious attack left her in a coma for 12 days and The New York Times described it as “one of the most widely publicized crimes of the 1980’s.” The documentary, The Central Park Five, reveals the truth about what happened the night of April 19th, and how the subordinate group of young black boys were wrongly convicted. Analyzing the conflict theory of crime in association to the case of the central park five, understanding the way they were treated based on setting, why it was so easy for the law enforcement to pin the crime on the young black boys, and how wrongly convicting someone has great consequences along with relating it to crime today achieved.
“On a typical day in 1989, New Yorkers reported nine rapes, five murders, 255 robberies and 194 aggravated assaults” (Griffin). The crack epidemic, division of wealth, and an under-policed city entailed together allowed crime to be an everyday occurrence. New York was the crime capital of the nation and the fact that the attack occurred in Central Park, New York City’s great backyard, violated a fundamental public sense of shared space. No single place remained safe. With crime as out of control as it was; racial tension was also at an all time high. Not all crime was viewed the same though, white on white crime and black on black crime were nothing in comparison to black on white crimes. Once it became clear that the suspects were black and Latino teenagers, that the crime was black on white, the racial tension that had been brewing boiled over into a rush to judgment. The rush to judgment of the people of New York, and of the nation for that matter, underlies Becket’s...
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...ifferent deviant behavior as criminal compared to other people. A normal act or act for survival, like the Hurricane Katrina articles, will be portrayed very different based on the race of whoever is involved.
The race of the teenagers who were convicted was the driving factor of why they were convicted. As explained with theory, they were involved in a socially deviant situation, but had they either not been in that situation, or been white teens, the outcome would have been much different. From analysis, we are able to understand why the boys were treated the way they were treated at the time, why the law enforcement had such ease with pinning the crime on them, and how this case can relate to crime today, showing wronged conviction has great consequences. After losing years of their lives, justice was served and the central park five were finally able to go home.
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