RACE, CRIME AND THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT – TERM PAPER ASSIGNMENT In 1989 five Black and Latino boys were arrested, charged, and later convicted of the brutal rape and attempted murder of a White woman found clinging to life in Central Park. New York in the 1980s and 90s was notorious for its high crime rate and signs of disorder such as graffiti, abandoned buildings and littered streets. The “Central Park jogger case,” as this was later referred to as, was an example of how the circumstance of a white woman allegedly attacked by black and Hispanic teenagers played into the existing fears and prejudices of New Yorkers at the time. The boys were portrayed as bad seeds who were “wilding” that evening, up to no good, so it was easy for the police, as well as the public at large, to convict the boys before the trial even began. (They have since been exonerated via DNA evidence and a confession from the actually attacker) After watching episode 7 of the New York documentary, please discuss the state of New York City in relation to the public sentiment surrounding the Central Park jogger case. Think back to the images shown of New York City, and how public policy and urban planning led to those conditions that turned the city into a city beset by violence and deepening rifts between races and classes, intense poverty, and high crime.
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