Exonerated “Central Park Five” member Yusef Salaam won a seat Tuesday on the New York City Council, marking a stunning reversal of fortune for a political newcomer who was wrongly imprisoned as a teenager in the infamous rape case.
Salaam, a Democrat, will represent a central Harlem district on the City Council, having run unopposed for the seat in one of many local elections happening across New York state on Tuesday. He won his primary election in a landslide.
The victory comes more than two decades after DNA evidence was used to overturn the convictions of Salaam and four other Black and Latino men in the 1989 rape and beating of a white jogger in Central Park. Salaam was imprisoned for almost seven years.
“For me, this means that we can really become our ancestors’ wildest dreams,” Salaam said in an interview before the election.
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