Ava DuVernay said on Thursday that looking through photos on social media capturing Korey Wise meeting his supporters in New York City is one of her “favorite things to do.”
Wise was portrayed in DuVernay’s highly praised Netflix miniseries, “When They See Us,” which told the story of the wrongful convictions of the boys, now men, widely known as the Central Park Five: Wise, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Kevin Richardson.
“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,” she wrote on Twitter, sharing a few photos of Wise with people in Harlem. “Folks post dozens of pics daily.”
She continued, “I asked him this morning how he feels about it. He said, ‘They give me love and I give them love. It’s good.’”
Wise, who apparently still lives in New York City, was one of the five black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of a brutal rape that took place in the city’s Central Park in 1989.
Each of the teenagers spent years behind bars before their convictions were vacated in 2002, after DNA evidence and a confession linked a serial rapist and murderer to the crime.
Wise, the oldest of the so-called Central Park Five, was convicted of charges relating to the rape at 16 years old. Until recently, New York was one of two states in the U.S. to view all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in criminal court. He served nearly 13 years behind bars in adult prison, the longest of the five.
Wise has since been recognized for his advocacy for criminal justice reform. He funded the Korey Wise Innocence Project at Colorado Law in 2015, which investigates claims of wrongful convictions.
The infamous case has received renewed attention after “When They See Us” hit Netflix on May 31.