Central Park Five co-director Sarah Burns talks racial profiling and media sensationalism

Five black and Latino teenagers were convicted of beating and raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park in 1989, when the city was in the midst of a racially motivated witch hunt. Though no compelling evidence placed any of the boys -- Antron McKray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana Jr. and Korey Wise -- at the scene, all five served six- to thirteen-year sentences for a crime they did not commit.

The Central Park Five -- opening this Friday, December 21, at the Sie FilmCenter -- details this horrific miscarriage of justice and tells the backstory of how so many respected media outlets fed into the city's unsubstantiated fear.

Written, produced and directed by Sarah Burns, husband David McMahon and father Ken Burns, The Central Park Five sets the social and political scene for what has been labeled a "crime of the century." In advance of the film's opening in Denver, we talked with Sarah Burns about how racial profiling put five innocent teenagers in jail and sent New York City into a fearful tailspin.

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