Ex-NYPD Detective Claims Central Park Five Guilty, Blasts Netflix Series
In recent weeks since Netflix began airing the series, When They See Us, which pushes the conspiracy theory that the Central Park Five were a group of completely innocent teens who were framed for rape by the NYPD, former detective Eric Reynolds has given several interviews in which he has defended his fellow NYPD officers and argued that the Five are, in fact, guilty of attacking jogger Trisha Meili in 1989 as well as several other people on the same night.
He has characterized Ava DuVernay's series as a mostly fictional account of the events surrounding the 1989 rampage in Central Park.that endangers law enforcement by smearing them as villains. Reynolds, who is planning to publish a book on the subject, has been interviewed recently by the Daily Mail, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, and CNN host Michael Smerconish.
Like former prosecutor Linda Fairstein a few weeks ago, Reynolds charged that dialogue portraying her as a racist hellbent on convicting the teens without sufficient evidence is fabricated, and recalled that Fairstein did not direct the police department's investigation as depicted in the series.
Also like Fairstein in the past, he recalled that investigators like himself who were involved in the case used to be under a gag order before the Five's lawsuit against New York City was settled in 2014, so the people who knew the most about the Five and why they were found guilty were not allowed to speak publicly and give their point of view until just a few years ago.
He also argued that, in contrast with the series that portrays the Five as completely innocent bystanders in the park that night who were just there to peacefully pass the time, they, in fact, helped lead a riot targeting a number of other joggers and park goers. Reynolds recounted that, after he and his partner arrived responding to reports of the attacks, he saw Raymond Santana and Steve Lopez (who plea-bargained and avoided being convicted with the other five) acting as ringleaders of a group of several dozen teens.
Officers managed to arrest Santana, Lopez, Kevin Richardson, and two others initially before using information obtained from them to identify other suspects. Unlike depicted in the Netflix series, Richardson admitted that a scratch near his eye happened as he struggled with Meili, although the series depicts an officer hitting the teen in the face with his helmet and giving him a blatantly swollen eye.
One can go back and view Richardson's confession tape and see that the injury to his eye was barely noticeable in contrast with how it was exaggerated by DuVernay.
It is also noteworthy that DuVernay hired an actor who is about 5' 5" tall to play the part of Richardson, making him look like a small kid being attacked by an adult officer. But, in fact, Richardson described himself on tape as being almost as tall as one of his accomplices, Yusef Salaam, who was reported at the time to be 6' 4" tall.
So his height, the size of his injury, and how he was injured are all the work of fiction to make him look like a helpless victim of police violence.
It is also noteworthy that several of the Central Park Five members have admitted their guilt in the attacks on others, although not the attack on Meili, as documented by the Armstrong report. And one member, Korey Wise, even confessed to friends that he had participated in the attack on Meili.
As he also took aim at the Ken Burns propaganda film, The Central Park Five, Reynolds recalled that both film makers had deceptively claimed that the teens' confessions were the only evidence that was used against them in the trial, even though several had small blood stains on their clothing, and one, Antron McCray, had mud on his pants that was believed to be linked to the attack on Meili because she was found in mud.
The retired detective also clarified that the absence of DNA evidence from the five suspects does not prove they did not attack her because it is commonplace for sexual predators to fail to leave DNA behind if they are unable to perform sexually.
He also took on claims that Matias Reyes -- who confessed in 2002 and is viewed by liberals as having cleared the Five with his confession -- was the lone attacker as the retired detective recalled that one police officer had noted that Wise recalled seeing a teen whom he referred to as "Rudy" which was probably not his real name who stole Meili's walkman in a fanny pack which Reyes also claimed to have stolen.
It is also significant that the Ken Burns documentary incorrectly claimed that Reyes gave more correct information about the crime scene and victim, including what she was wearing, when, in fact, Richardson's confession tape reveals that he gave a more accurate account of what Meili looked like -- white shirt, black pants, short hair, short height -- than Reyes did.
In at least two of his interviews, Reyes struggled to describe Meili as he claimed she was about 5' 8" or taller when, in fact, Meili is reportedly only about 5 feet tall, suggesting he may have only seen her after she was tackled by the others.
Apart from CNN's Smerconish, the dominant media have almost universally portrayed the Central Park Five as completely innocent over the past few years.