In 1989, then Manhattan real estate developer, Donald Trump, called for the execution of the five teenage Black and Latino boys who were arrested for raping and assaulting the Central Park jogger. Trump brazenly took out a full page ad in four New York City newspapers asking for the reinstatement of the death penalty.
On Tuesday, now President Trump, was asked by White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan for his thoughts on the case that has resurfaced as a result of the hit Netflix miniseries, When They See Us, especially since the five men have since been exonerated years ago. In true fashion, the President refused to apologize to the five wrongly convicted men stating to Ryan that the they had already admitted their guilt, even though DNA evidence and the confession of the man who actually committed the crime says otherwise.
“Why do you bring that question up now?” Trump asked Ryan when she asked whether he will apologize. “It’s an interesting time to bring it up.”
You have people on both sides of that,” Trump added. “They admitted their guilt. If you look at Linda Fairstein, and you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should never have settled that case. So we’ll leave it at that.”
Disregarding the men’s exoneration, Trump still believes that the city of New York should not have “settled for wrongly imprisoning the men” and has continued to believe that the men were guilty as recently as 2016, according to the Washington Post
Trump was questioned by Larry King about the ads two week after they were published where he said at the time, “I said of course I hate these people, let’s all hate these people, maybe hate is what we need if we’re going to get something done.”
The President has never apologized for his role in wanting to see the boys pay for a crime they did not commit. The boys were convicted and each sentenced to time in prison—from five and a half years to 13 years. In an interview with theGrio, one of the accused men, Yusef Salam, called Trump, “the devil” and said any Black voters who support him have “historical amnesia.”
“We think this guy is going to wake up one day and all of sudden be this kind, loving, empathetic person? At 71-years old, he is who he is with a long and well-documented track record,” said Salam in the interview last year.
Ava remains unbothered
Filmmaker Ava Duvernay says she is “unfazed” by the comments President Trump made on Tuesday about the exonerated Central Park Five at a screening of the When They See Us screening in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to The Wrap.
She said she was surprised it took him so long to make comments about the case.
“It’s expected. I just don’t think it’s that much, it’s not a big deal to me,” DuVernay said Tuesday night at a screening of the series, which chronicles the arrest, imprisonment and eventual exoneration of the Central Park Five.
“There’s nothing that he says or does in relation to this case, in relation to the lives of five people of color, that really has any weight to it or truth to it,” DuVernay continued. “It’s not our reality, it’s not truthful. We already know this, so it’s kind of like, why do we keep banging our head against the wall about it? I’m surprised it took him so long. I was waiting every day to get a tweet.”