What was happening in New York City at time of 'Central Park Five' arrests

"20/20: One Night in Central Park" examines the culture, crime and social context of 1980s New York City that surrounded the brutal attack and rape of a jogger in Central Park on April 19, 1989.
5:47 | 05/24/19

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Transcript for What was happening in New York City at time of 'Central Park Five' arrests
In the late eighties. Radio city was very tennis. New York City in the 1980s. Was boiling its racial. There's a place where people were fearful fearful of crime fearful of being moved Monday as being attacked. I would try to work out some way can. Often seen graffiti inside this away. In Times Square you still have. My sex ruse and hookers everywhere and English ambulances. Sirens were always bracing. Thousands of grapes and that people are free gift was. The very violent times it's. There were definitely neighborhoods in New York City where you just didn't want to be especially after dark. New York's in the 1980. Cruise ready best understands. The New York which we met through seasons taxi driver. Growing animals from a night. Some room room and watch shows them off the streets. Supply squeeze through the right thing. To look at. Empty since dangerous New York street quote from time to city was tales. I'm predictable cash hostile. This new broad numbers in the 1980s. Tunes cracked. This is bleached. And then epidemic proportions. This crack epidemic and the New York like a snowstorm. Crack was right field goal of drugs. It just ravaged the place and it took to homicide rate. To the ceiling. 8889. You had about 19102000. Murders. A year and city wire. Basically you've got almost as many murders. In a month back then as you have now in an entire year in New York City. People are walking through the streets of New York. In fear and concern that the police cannot protect them. At the saint. That all of these things happening and have you purchase and really dominance of Wall Street culture. The coast stock market the trailer. The financial industry financial services industry like all these things are. Emerging. Running. They'll sectors are providing jobs that the highly educated kid. And so we had this influx of people so the city now it was about making money. And making as much money as possible and during that time period the movie Wall Street Kate greed was good. Read. Apple's thing. You know the famous sign in that movie. The rich are doing ubiquity well yeah. But there are all other areas in the city that it had justice. Racially marginalized areas. This is what's happening to us missiles was happening in our community. Plus and it enabled why they don't want there really was at a detention. Operations BT. A lot of mistrust and a lot of apprehension. Yeah it's. Well and 1980 Mac. You must through mumbled the city woes. True. Divisive polarized. In addition another deadly bias incidents has clouded the atmosphere of New York City yet happened last. Side in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn a lot of the racial conflict is taking place them. Involved. At tax. Body whites. On blacks. In the ad ran his life he was killed. From what he thought. Volvo. White young people predominantly chased. Three blacks. Whose car had broken down. Commonly chased them one of those people. Michael Griffin ended up chased into traffic he was hit by a car guy. More coal on the fire the the racial unrest. If in fact taller than cocaine. Being increasingly prominent division between black and want to. We've come true picture of me for your fitness and New York loses supercharged. This turmoil. There's really compares well this poverty and there's crime there's fear and violence bamboo pole. Wrapped up and one editor. Mulch was. Single city. Between these two Hudson rivers.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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