Former Republican President Donald Trump's indictment by a Manhattan grand jury for his role in a $130,000 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels has brought renewed attention to his controversial position on the Central Park 5.
In 1989, five Black and Latino teenagers were wrongly convicted of assaulting and raping a White woman in Central Park. Trump, who was a real estate developer at the time, took out newspaper ads calling for New York State to adopt the death penalty in response to the attack.
Despite the convictions being overturned and DNA evidence exonerating the five defendants, Trump never expressed regret for his role in the case.
One of the exonerated members of the Central Park 5, Dr. Yusef Salaam, who is now running for New York City Council, responded to Trump's indictment with the statement:
Salaam criticized Trump for not apologizing for calling for his execution and that of his fellow defendants. Salaam noted on Twitter that Trump "never said sorry for calling for my execution."
You can see Salaam's statement below.
Salaam's post immediately went viral—and people loved every bit of it.
Trump's comments on the case have been widely criticized.
In 2019, when asked about the case at the White House, Trump said the Central Park 5 had "admitted their guilt." His comments were viewed by many as a refusal to accept the evidence that the group had been wrongly convicted.
The case of the Central Park 5 has been the subject of documentaries and television shows, and it has become a symbol of the racial injustice in the American criminal justice system. The wrongful conviction of the five teenagers highlighted the systemic flaws in the justice system, including police misconduct, coerced confessions, and inadequate legal representation.
The case also revealed the impact of racial bias on the justice system, and how it can lead to wrongful convictions of people of color. The Central Park 5 case was one of the most high-profile examples of this bias, and it served as a wake-up call for many Americans to the deep-seated racial issues that exist in the criminal justice system.