More than a decade after the exoneration of five black and Latino teens, ages 14-16, falsely accused of raping a woman in New York City’s Central Park, President Donald Trump said today that he still doesn’t accept their innocence and will not issue them an apology for publicly calling for their executions.
As he left the White House for a campaign rally in Florida this afternoon, a reporter asked if he feels he owed the five men an apology. “You have people on both sides of that,” Trump responded. “They admitted their guilt.”
In the days after the high-profile 1989 crime, Trump took out a full-page ad in New York newspapers with the headline, “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back the Police” and called for the death penalty against the five boys who were later convicted of raping and assaulting a young woman jogging in Central Park.
The Central Park Five were later completely exonerated when another suspect was identified through DNA evidence, and a court found that the confessions to which Trump referred were coerced.