Sunday, May 19, 2024

Crown Heights’ Colin Warner (On His Life Behind Bars): It Was Like ‘The Twilight Zone’

Colin Warner and Carl King
Colin Warner (l) and Carl King at the New York Edition Hotel in NYC. (MMoore Photo)

Colin Warner spent 21 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit that is chronicled in the film “Crown Heights.”

My first question to Colin was what was it like to in that horrendous situation?

“Well for me right now, the beginning of this saga in my life and even until today, is like being in a ‘Twilight Zone’ movie,” he said.

“I mean, just the fact that there are forces and people who can literally snatch the life away from you—because technically I was really dead in the eyes of the law—or incarcerated with a life sentence there are not too many words I can convey to you,” he added.

In the spring of 1980, a teenager was gunned down in the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn. The police pressured a child witness to identify a suspect. As a result, Colin Warner from nearby Crown Heights, is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Colin’s childhood friend Carl ‘KC’ King devoted his life to fighting for Colin’s release.

There is much to be learned from this atrocious story, Colin, but had your name not been in the police files for a minor offense and you kept your nose clean, do you think you could’ve avoided this?

“Listen, when I came out, a family member told me that I was to hold myself partly to blame for what happened to me,” he revealed.

Lakeith Stanfield
Lakeith Stanfield plays Colin Warner in ‘Crown Heights.’

“And at the time I refused that concept,” he recalled. “But after thinking about it, I can say ‘Listen, I had a part to play with my behavior in allowing this to happen, right? Not to say, I helped to kill or did kill somebody but my behavior unconsciously allowed it to happen to me and I would like to tell kids, ‘Listen! Be aware!’ Be aware! My grandma used to tell me, ‘Don’t tell me who you are, tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.’ People are suffering everywhere and not as lucky. For me to be sitting here talking to you is a blessing.”

is now playing in NY and opens in LA tomorrow (08-25-17).

Directed by Matt Rushkin, the film stars LaKeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Natalie Paul.       Twitter: @thefilmstrip


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