After work, a young investment banker
laced up, took her usual route
past locust, cherry, larch
sky a dark and pinholed vault
high honey bulb each hundred yards

According to reports
teens swarmed the grounds
in loose constellations
sweat-stuck, roving

Felled from behind
then pulled past sycamores to the ravine
her skull fractured with a rock
Stripped, shirt a ligature gag
Left in her own sap
three quarters of it seeped to soil

At the hospital
priest performed viaticum

Next day, the Times reported

Teen-agers began marauding after 9 PM
with the robbery of a 52-year-old man
Youths got away with a sandwich
In the next hour, threw rocks at a taxicab
chased a man and woman riding a tandem
attacked a 40-year-old jogger
attacked a woman on the bridle

At 10 o’clock, came upon the female jogger
running on a desolate transverse
the youths numbered as many as 20

Detectives held five, 14 to 16 years
one developmentally disabled
interrogated each between 14 to 30 hours
gave one a Coke, and one milk

Each boy believed
if they said what the questioners wanted
they could go home

Elsewhere in 1989
fraternity brothers spend two days rioting, looting
at a Virginia Beach Greekfest
The Exxon Valdez rupture guts
1,000 miles of coast
DeKlerk, out of no good heart, out of Mandela’s
lion mouth, begins to relinquish apartheid
Bernhard Goetz, of Queens, is sentenced
to one year in prison, a $5,000 fine
for shooting four people in the subway
The Berlin Wall falls
The Cold War roils on


Bring Back Penalty Bring Back Police
by Donald J. Trump, May 1, 1989; full-page advertisements taken out
in The New York Times, The Daily News, The New York Post, New York Newsday

What has happened to law and order
the neighborhood cop we all trusted
to guard our homes

Cop who had power under law

to keep prey        distorted

What has happened to respect

for authority, retribution

What has happened is complete breakdown

At what point did we cross the line from noble pursuit

of genuine                  civil liberties

to the reckless permissive which allows

every age to rape women laugh
because they face
no personal risk to themselves

They should be forced to suffer
when they kill should be
executed         as examples
I want to hate and always will
I want to punish I want them afraid

When I was young I sat
in a diner with my father
witnessed two young bullies cursing a waitress
Cops rushed in, lifted up thugs, threw them out

I miss feeling New York’s finest

Let politicians give back our police power
unshackle them from the chant “police brutality”
cease pandering to the criminal population
Send message loud to terrorize
Bring back the death
Bring back police


5 completed sentences

Raymond Santana, 14, imprisoned 7
Kharey Wise, 16, imprisoned 13
Kevin Richardson, 14, imprisoned 7
Antron McCray, 15, imprisoned 7
Yusef Sallam, 15, imprisoned 7

Trisha Meili, 28, 6 weeks in a coma
Her eyes placed back in their sockets

Harm unquantifiable, outside of time

The week of April 19th in NYC
29 first degree rapes reported
ages ranges 8 to 51
In NYC, 1989, 6,249 reports of sexual assault
Police estimated the count
as one tenth of what occurred

Violence done to children and by children
Wrong children


The People of the State of New York Against Kharey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Defendants. Indictment No. 4762/89. Affirmation in Response to Motion to Vacate Judgement of Conviction

In February 2002 the District Attorney’s Office was notified
an inmate had come forward with a claim
he attacked the Central Park jogger alone
Matias Reyes, serving sentences for
three rapes/robberies, one rape/murder
committed between June 11 and August 5, 1989
He has provided samples of blood, head, pubic hair
Information provided has been extensively investigated
included interviews with police corrections inmates civilians
all records pertaining to Reyes personal criminal psychological

Reyes account of the attack and rape is corroborated by
independent evidence. Further, investigators have been unable
to find evidence that, as of 1989
Reyes knew or associated with defendants

Reyes decision to come forward was prompted by
a chance encounter with Kharey Wise
in Auburn Correctional Facility
and the realization Wise was incarcerated
in connection with the attack on the jogger

Interviews with Corrections employees, volunteers, inmates confirmed
Reyes told them he committed a crime for which
another person had been convicted
and wanted to rectify

Reyes does not attribute his decision
to having “found God”
though he stated he has found religious services helpful
He has explained himself in terms of
fear of retribution

In 1989 Reyes was living on his own across from the 23rd precinct
Slept in a van; occasionally with a family who felt for him

On June 11, 1989, Reyes stalked, raped, robbed, stabbed
twenty-four year old woman in her apartment
stole the victim’s Walkman

June 14, 1989, Reyes raped, robbed, stabbed to death
a twenty-four year old woman in an apartment
used a knife from victim’s kitchen
[She was pregnant; her three children were home]

July 19th, 1989, Reyes stalked, raped, robbed, cut
twenty year old woman in apartment
took ATM card and PIN
Tied her in a fashion
which parallels the Central Park jogger
Called 911 to summon help for her

July 27, 1989 Reyes stalked, robbed, punched
twenty-eight year old woman
in the hallway of her apartment
The crime interrupted by neighbors

August 5, 1989 Reyes stalked, raped, robbed
a twenty four year old woman in her apartment
took bank card, PIN
She escaped

Reyes volunteered information
about other sex crimes he committed
for which he hadn’t been arrested
One was in Central Park
He had in fact
beaten raped robbed twenty-six year old woman
exercising near Lasker rink and pool
Bystander intervened
Reyes left, calmly, taking the victim’s property
The incident occurred April 17, 1989
two days before the attack on the jogger

Reyes disclosed information
about a sexual assault in a church
Dragged down the staircase
Church of Heavenly Rest

The following summarizes Reyes attack on the jogger:

He left work, headed for Central Park

It was likely he would commit some kind of crime, not necessarily rape
He first saw the jogger as she proceeded north on East Drive
wearing long black jogging tights
Reyes said he was
attracted to her

[his account highly detailed, so we end it]

Reyes says when he left the jogger she was bloody and unconscious but still alive
He could hear her making some kind of hard sound in her throat
as though something had been broken

When he reached the roadway
he saw the jogger’s headset
put it on


The question has always been
whose body is the property
of whom
This is still their question


Ms. Winfrey (April, 2002): When I first heard about you, I thought
why were you running alone in Central Park at night

Ms. Meili: You’re not the first person to say that
I have every right to run where I want, when I want

Ms. Winfrey: The idea of running alone
is a foreign concept to me
You had to be the kind of person
who either thought you were invincible
or who was just nuts

Ms. Meili: I wouldn’t say I was nuts

Ms. Couric (April, 2003): When this happened, some people said:
“Running alone in Central Park at night? That girl must be crazy

Ms. Meili: That question bothers me

Ms. Couric: Do you ever look back and say
“No you shouldn’t have been doing that

Mr. King (May, 2003): Were you a frequent jogger

Ms. Meili: I was

Mr. King: Liked to jog at night, too

Ms. Meili: because of the schedule, because I worked
late and had to get to work early
I could only do it after work
And that’s what I did

Mr. King: Any fears about running in a park
with a reputation

Ms. Meili: I had concerns. I had rules for myself

Mr. King: Like

Ms. Meili: I wouldn’t go running after 9:30 at night
I didn’t go to the most northern part of the park
I didn’t run around the reservoir

Mr. King: You do run again

Ms. Meili: I do

Mr. King: But you didn’t have
the psychological impact of rape
because you didn’t remember the rape
So you can’t describe what is it like
forced entry

So did it cause you any kind of hang ups

Ms. Meili: Having a head injury caused me hang ups

Mr. King: How are you living? Why are you living
Why didn’t you die that day

Ms. Meili: Prayers from all over the world

Mr. King: We’re going to take a break,
but when we come back, Jim Schwarz will join us

Mr. King: You still use Meili
Ms. Meili: I do
Mr. King: Not Schwarz
Ms. Meili: Not Schwarz
Mr. King: Independent

Mr. King: Trisha Meili’s our guest
We are joined now by her husband
It has to be asked, Jim
Did it bother you that the girl
you were falling for was raped
All men who have had this face it

Mr. Schwartz: It didn’t. It didn’t
Mr. King: You have children
Ms. Meili: No
Mr. King: Can you have children
Ms. Meili: Yes
Mr. King: The assailant did almost
everything to you, didn’t he
I mea
n, to be honest about it, right
Are you angry


Press Conference at City Hall After Settlement Announced, June 27, 2014

Mr. Omowale Clay: after 25 years of injustice
the case of the Central Park Five comes to a just conclusion
Although no amount of time of money can repay
we see the settlement as reparations

Mr. Kevin Richardson: You all don’t understand
what we went through. You tried to dehumanize us
People called us animals [weeping] wolfpack
I have four sisters and a mother              I would never
do anything to a woman I was raised better
All we wanted is to tell you
we didn’t

Mr. Raymond Santana: Today’s supposed to be a day of victory
My childhood was taken from me. The ability to become
a productive man was taken. Instead you gave me prison
and aggression. Never given a transitional program
nobody ever sat us down to walk through these steps
so you can get a job. Even after exoneration
they just dropped us off, said
you fend for yourself

Mr. Yusef Salaam: I used to call this
the criminal system of injustice
For everyone else
this is a historical moment

But this is our lives


Ms. Meili: I’m working on these exercises
and they seem to be getting better
maybe just a little bit, maybe
I’m taking two more steps

Mr. King: What hurt the most

Ms. Meili: I wondered how could someone do this

But outpouring of support, tremendous kindness
It was an extraordinary level of violence


My Opinion on the Settlement of the Central Park Jogger Case
by Donald Trump, New York Daily News, June 21, 2014

is a disgrace

A detective who has followed it
calls it the heist of the century

Settling doesn’t mean innocence
it indicates incompetence
politics at its lowest and worst form

What about the other people who were brutalized that night
in addition to the jogger

One thing we know
the amount of time, energy and money that has been spent
on this case is unacceptable
Forty million dollars is a lot

The recipients must be laughing
at the incompetence of the city

These young men do not have the pasts
of angels


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White Jaw: Copyright © 2017 by Laurel Bastian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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