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Yusef Salaam of the Central Park Five is Running for the New York City Council

Yusef Salaam

When Yusef Salaam and the other four members of the Central Park Five were cleared after another man confessed to the 1980 brutal rape and beating of Trisha Meili, the Central Park jogger, Donald Trump didn’t like it one bit.

Trump took out a full-page ad in four New York newspapers, calling for the boys to die in custody, and declaring that New York should bring back the death penalty.

Salaam is now running for New York City Council, and Trump, who is running for again president for the second time, may be headed to prison.

Salaam is now 49. He was 15 when he went to prison. He spent seven years in prison for a crime he and other boys, all Black or Hispanic, did not commit.

Matias Reyes admitted that he raped Meili. “The cops and the press did not give the presumption of innocence,” Salaam said during an interview.

He says he is now ready to change things from the inside.

Salaam is running against three other candidates for the coveted Harlem district on the New York City Council.

He faces Al Taylor, of the New York State Assembly, and Inez Dickens, a former city council member. Early voting will be held from June 17 to June 25. The primary election is set for June 27, 2023, and the general election will be held on November 7, 2023.

His opponents claim he does not have experience. He said, “I have a great record in the 34 years since I fought to clear my name in the Central Park Jogger case.”


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