Hot Takes

Candace Owens: ‘The Central Park 5 were not innocent’

Conservative commentator Candace Owens is not known for supporting her opinions by using facts.

A Google search of her name, alongside the words “fact check,” brings up a host of stories, among them a recent example, according to The Washington Post, in which she wrongly stated that the southern strategy (in which Republicans in the 1960s and 1970s used racism to their political advantage) a myth (it wasn’t).

So it’s perhaps not surprising for some to read about how she’s continued to employ the strategy of flat-out lying when it comes to subjects like the Central Park 5 — not surprising, but still alarming.

Owens recently commented on the Netflix documentary series “When They See Us,” which delves into the justice system and the unfair treatment of five teenagers who were wrongly accused of raping and beating an unsuspecting jogger in Central Park in 1989. In a series of tweets discussing the show, Owens stated that she believes the series is meant to manipulate black people.

“How foolish do you have to be to believe that the Central Park 5 case is suddenly being unearthed and glamorized because people care about justice,” Owens said, via reporting from RollingOut. “Wake up Black America! Millions of dollars are being spent to emotionally manipulate us ahead of an election cycle — again.”

She went on to contend that the five teenagers who were later exonerated of any wrongdoing — Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey (formerly Kharey) Wise — were, in fact, guilty.

“Few people read the details of the case. Now, blacks are once again being emotionally manipulated by Leftists…The Central Park 5 were not innocent,” Owens wrote.

The Central Park 5 were, in fact, found to be innocent due to many dubious circumstances surrounding their case. For starters, according to AM New York, there wasn’t any physical, including DNA, evidence that linked them to the crime itself.

The teens were essentially tortured into admitting guilt, according to reports, being deprived of food, water, and sleep for 24 hours after their arrests. Even though each teen’s version of events differed from the others, it was enough to convict them of being guilty.

Twelve years later, serial rapist Matias Reyes claimed sole responsibility for the crime. There was even DNA evidence that connected him to the rape of Meili, and the five teens who were now adults in prison were later let go by court order.

President Donald Trump also believed the five teens were guilty of the rape.

“They admitted they were guilty,” Trump said in 2016, 14 years after they were found to be innocent, according to reporting from Esquire. “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous.”

Again, there wasn’t much evidence to go on, except for the coerced (and inconsistent) guilty pleas that the teens originally gave to law enforcement, that they soon after recanted.

Editor’s note: Owens says she’s going to post a video blog soon to explain her comments. We’ll update this post when she does. 

Featured image via screen grab/Fox News 

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