When They See Us: Did the Central Park 5 even know each other?

Netflix Original series When They See Us has become one of the most talked about shows of 2019 as it tells the true story of the Central Park Five. Made up of Korey Wise, Raymond Santana Jr, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Antron McCray, the Central Park Five was the name given to these five men who were wrongfully convicted for their supposed roles in the assault and rape of a jogger in New York, USA in 1989. Since the Netflix series was released, a number of questions have emerged among fans, including whether or not the Central Park Five even knew each other before the case.

Did the Central Park 5 know each other before?

Korey Wise and Yusef Salaam were the only two members of the Central Park Five to be friends before the crime.

Salaam has spoken publicly about the impact When They See Us has had on him after seeing his friend Korey’s time in jail played out on-screen.

He told Shadow and Act: “I think even more so now [after watching When They See Us], I get it,

“To me, that was the hardest part. I had often thought that we had always gone through hell,

“But I realise his part in particular — because he was not on the list of suspects – he came to be my ace in the hole, to be like, ‘I got your back,’ without knowing anything about the justice system,

“He was 16-years-old in Rikers Island. He was not a criminal. That criminal element was out of his norm and caused him to be in a state of fight or flight.”


Salaam went on to tell the publication: “I’m very sorry that he went through all of that for me. He didn’t deserve that.

“That was my friend. He wasn’t a guy I knew in the neighbourhood — it wasn’t like that. He and I were hanging out at each other’s house.”

Salaam also told CBS Sunday Morning about the first time he and his friend were taken in for questioning and how it made him feel.

He said: “As soon as we get in, they separate us and start working on us,

“And I’m hearing Korey being physically beaten in the next room, and I’m immediately beyond afraid.”

Wise told Shadow and Act about his and Salaam’s bond and how it still remains 30 years later.

He said: “I love you, Yusef Salaam. It wasn’t your fault that you left me behind.

“You’re going to always be my brother, man. I still need your help.”


The rest of the Central Park Five may not have known each other before, but all five have formed a bond since being exonerated.

Richardson, Wise, Santana, McCray and Salaam all continue to conduct interviews together.

The five all attended the premiere of the Netflix mini-series together as well.

During filming for When They See Us, the actors playing the men got to meet the Central Park Five.

Wise and actor Jharrel Jerome shared a number of behind the scenes pictures together – as did Caleel Harris and McCray, Ethan Herisse and Salaam and Marquis Rodriguez and Santana.

In When They See Us, Netflix viewers see a dramatisation of when the Central Park Five first met each other.


After hours of interrogation at the hands of detectives, four of the teens were put into juvenile holding.

Being 16-years-old at the time meant Wise was too old to be held with the other teens.

In holding, Young Raymond (played by Rodriguez) says: “Kevin, right? I saw you that night at the police station.”

The four teens the introduce themselves for the very first time before breaking down to one another, guilt-stricken for their false confessions.

When They See Us is available to stream on Netflix now.

Source: Read Full Article