Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, wrongfully convicted of triple murder, is getting a street named after him in Paterson | Paterson Times

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, wrongfully convicted of triple murder, is getting a street named after him in Paterson


Boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who spent almost two decades in prison for a wrongful triple murder conviction, will be commemorated in Paterson with a street bearing his name. The renaming reflects both his prolonged fight for justice and his ultimate vindication.

The section of Hamilton Street running between Grand Street and Ward Street, located near the Passaic County Courthouse, will also be named Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter Way, according to a resolution approved by the City Council on Tuesday night.

“19 years in prison, incarcerated, yet still not bitter,” said councilman Michael Jackson, who introduced the measure, referring to a statement Carter made after his exoneration.

Council members unanimously voted to approve the resolution.

Carter’s daughter, who was inside the City Council Chambers, thanked them for honoring her father.

“The Carter family has a rich history in the city of Paterson. We paid our dues here,” said Carter’s daughter Theodora Carter, who continues to call the Silk City home.

She expressed gratitude to federal judge H. Lee Sarokin, who in November 1985, freed her father from prison. He stated Carter’s conviction was tinged with racism and concealment by law enforcement.

“The community needs to know the history,” added council president Domingo “Alex” Mendez. “We got to talk about the history of Hurricane Carter at the Paterson Public Schools. Our children need to know his life, his history, and his legacy.”

Councilman Al Abdelaziz suggested a larger honor for the boxer, who died on April 20, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.

Abdelaziz suggested working with the Passaic County government, which owns the Courthouse Plaza off of Hamilton Street, to install a statute of the boxer at the site.

“I have read everything your father went through. It brings chills,” said Abdelaziz addressing the daughter.

Jackson said he had to conduct extensive research in preparing the resolution honoring Carter. “I never knew Muhammad Ali had come to Paterson,” he said. Ali was in Paterson supporting Carter. There are books, films, a podcast, and a song about Carter’s story.

Bob Dylan’s song ‘Hurricane’ and the film ‘The Hurricane,’ starring Denzel Washington, are just two examples.

Carter was a middleweight boxer. He was born in Clifton. During the early morning hours of June 17, 1966, there was a shooting at the Lafayette Bar and Grill at the corner of East 18th and Lafayette streets that claimed the life of three people.

Carter and his friend John Artis were pulled over in their vehicle and charged in the shooting. They were convicted based on questionable evidence.

In prison, Carter refused to wear prison garbs, maintaining his innocence, and fighting the wrongful conviction. After his release, Carter dedicated himself to advocating for those he believed were wrongfully convicted. In pursuit of this mission, he established Innocence International, a non-profit organization. This organization focused on identifying and supporting cases of individuals who, like Carter, were believed to be wrongly convicted. Through Innocence International, Carter aimed to address and rectify miscarriages of justice, providing assistance and raising awareness about the flaws in the criminal justice system that lead to wrongful convictions.

“We have some great people that have come out of this city. Rubin Carter is one of them,” said councilwoman Ruby Cotton.

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  • disqus_qeKVfrd7O3

    Good Job Michael Jackson once again saving the city.

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    Michael Jackson needs to moonwalk out of Paterson…how does this improve the wretched state of the city?