The Central Park Five, a group of Black and brown men wrongfully accused of raping a white jogger in 1989, demanded an apology from Donald Trump Friday for denying their innocence and running racist ads against “roving bands of wild criminals.”
“I keep saying to myself, ‘One day, Donald Trump is gonna perhaps take a full page ad out and apologize to the Central Park Five,'” said Yusef Salaam, one of the five, on CNN’s New Day. “That would be tremendous.” He also told ABC News that he would have been dead “had Donald Trump had his way.”
Raymond Santana, another from the group, responded on Twitter that Trump “will never get the black & Latino vote!”
The five were exonerated after the real culprit confessed, and they each recanted their confessions, made as teens under pressure from police.
Trump questioned the legal resolution on Friday, telling CNN, “They admitted they were guilty. The police doing the original investigation said they were guilty. The fact that the case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous.”
Trump had spent six figures in ads to escalate police presence and reinstate the death penalty following the attack. When the five settled a lawsuit with the city of New York in 2012, Trump wrote an op-ed that the deal was a “disgrace” since, “These young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels.” He added that the woman jogger, "so badly injured, will never be the same." The same day, a video of his lewd references to sexually abusing woman was published.
Famed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who made a film about the case, said in an interview with Hollywood Reporter that, “This is a man who finds it impossible to apologize and so he needs to double-down on what we know is untrue.”
He called Trump “a narcissistic personality who has a significant disorder here.”