NEWPORT, R.I. – Author and filmmaker Sarah Burns (daughter of the award winning director, Ken Burns) will speak about “Documenting Injustice: The Story Behind The Central Park Five and One of New York City’s Most Infamous Crimes” when she visits Salve Regina University on Thursday, April 25.
Free and open to the public as part of the university’s Atwood Lecture Series in partnership with Rhode Island PBS, Burns’s presentation will be given at 6:30 p.m. in Bazarsky Lecture Hall, located in O’Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Avenue. Reservations are not required.
Burns is author of the book The Central Park Five, which tells the story of five minority teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of beating and raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. They were later exonerated in 2002. Her book was made into a documentary movie that she co-directed with her father, along with her husband, filmmaker David McMahon.
In addition to her talk, Burns’s presentation at Salve Regina will include a screening of segments from the film, as well as a question and answer period.
The case, which famously came to be known as the Central Park Jogger case, not only involved a horrific crime but the wrongful arrest and conviction of five black and Latino teenagers. Over a decade later, when DNA tests connected serial rapist Matias Reyes to the crime, the government, law enforcement, social institutions and media of New York were exposed as having undermined the individuals they were designed to protect.