Four Black and one Latino teen were charged with the brutal rape of a 28-year-old New York woman in 1989. The men were exonerated by DNA evidence, but Trump still insists that the men are guilty. Now one of the wrongfully convicted men wants an apology from Trump.
Yusef Salaam was just 15-years-old when he was arrested and dragged in front of cameras.
“Had this been the 1950’s, I would’ve had the same fate as Emmett Till”, Salaam told CNN.
Before the teens had even gone to trial, Trump took out full page ads calling for the death penalty to be reinstated.
“Criminals must be told that their civil liberties end when an attack on our safety begins,” wrote Trump.
Salaam says Trump was like the “firestarter”, the man who “lit the match.”
Salaam and the other teens spent seven years in prison. They were later exonerated by DNA evidence.
Many believe Trump owes the wrongfully convicted men an apology, but Trump hasn’t budged.
“They confessed. Now they say they didn’t do it. Who am I supposed to believe?” said Trump.
The Central Park Five sued New York and were awarded $41 million dollars in 2014.
“They admitted they were guilty,” the Republican presidential candidate told CNN. “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”
In an email to Bloomberg, Jonathan Moore, an attorney for four of the five defendants, says Trump is ignoring the evidence.
“The only evidence of guilt against the five were the coerced confessions that came about after hours and days of illegal and unlawful questioning of the five young boys,” he said in the e-mail. “What Donald Trump did in 1989 with his full page ad, and what he now does with his campaign, is to appeal to intolerance, hatred and bigotry for his own selfish reasons.”
Salaam says an apology from Trump would be “tremendous”.
Watch the video below: