UPDATED with Ava DuVernay reaction: Don’t expect an apology from President Donald Trump to the so-called Central Park Five, the five men who are the subject of Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us Netflix miniseries, which has brought renewed attention to the case.
When asked today by White House correspondent April Ryan if he would apologize to the five men who were falsely accused of a brutal rape, but were later completely exonerated, Trump asked Ryan, “Why do you bring that question up now? It’s an interesting time to bring it up.”
Trump continued, “You have people on both sides of that. 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.”
Trump in 1989 bought full page ads in New York City newspapers calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty in New York following the arrest of the five then-teens ― four of whom were black and one Hispanic ― in connection with the rape of a white jogger in Central Park.
The five were completely exonerated when another suspect was identified through DNA evidence, and a court found that the confessions to which Trump referred were coerced.
Trump has said as recently as 2016 that the five men were guilty.
Following Trump’s comments, DuVernay revealed her reaction on Twitter.
When They See Us, released May 31 on Netflix, begins in the spring of 1989 when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, through their 2002 exoneration and 2014 settlement reached with the city of New York.
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