Korey Wise, 46, has been through and insurmountable amount of pain over the course of his lifetime as one of the Central Park Five, a group of men whose lives were forever changed as they were tried and convicted for a crime they did not commit.
Wise, along with Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Kevin Richardson, were arrested in 1989 and later convicted in the brutal rape of Central Park jogger Trisha Meili. The group was exonerated in 2002 and received a $41 million settlement from the city of New York in 2014, along with an additional $3.9 million settlement in 2016.
Over the last week, Wise recently purchased a luxury condo in his hometown of beloved Harlem to the tune of $925,000 dollars, according to the New York Post. Wise’s new spot is an 803-square-feet one-bedroom that was originally listed for $960,000 and also includes a washer/dryer, central heat and air, oversized windows and an open kitchen, the Post reports.
The group’s story was originally detailed in a 2012 documentary by Ken Burns and Sarah Burns, but it was the Netflix project by Ava DuVernay, When They See Us, that gave the men’s story another resurgence. Wise’s story was especially stirring as actor Jharrel Jerome portrayed the trials that Wise suffered while serving a 12-year prison sentence.
Wise never strayed from his home and is a staple in the community, as many people recognize him from the popularity of When They See Us. DuVernay regulars shares selfies of fans who spot Wise on the street, eager to take a photo.
“One of my favorite things to do after work these days is go on IG and see how many people have run into Korey on the streets of Harlem. Folks post dozens of pics daily. I asked him this morning how he feels about it. He said, ‘They give me love and I give them love. It’s good,'” Duvernay wrote in June.
Wise is also a criminal justice reform activist/public speaker and used part of his settlement to fund the Korey Wise Innocence Project housed at the University of Colorado School of Law.
How appropriate that Wise’s new digs overlook Central Park, the same piece of land which held a tragic fate, but in turn morphed into a beautiful future.