Donald Trump is refusing to issue an apology to the Central Park 5 following the release of the Netflix series about the 1989 attack they were falsely convicted of.
When They See Us is a four-part miniseries that details the attack on a female jogger in New York’s Central Park, from the subsequent investigation and trial that found the five teenagers guilty to their 2002 exoneration and 2014 settlement with the city of New York.
In 1989, Trump had bought ad space in several New York newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty following the arrest of four black teens (Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, 15; Yusef Salaam, 14; and Korey Wise,16) and one Hispanic teen (Raymond Santana, 14) in connection with the rape of white jogger Trisha Meili.
On Tuesday, White House correspondent April Ryan asked the President if he was going to apologize to the men, now called the Exonerated 5, since the case has come back into focus.
“Why do you bring that question up now?” Trump responded. “It’s an interesting time to bring it up.
“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.”
Linda Fairstein was one of the prosecutors on the case, who is played by Felicity Huffman in the show.
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She is depicted as being unethical in her handling of the interrogations of the five teens, who were allegedly beaten by police officers, kept for hours without food or water and separated from their parents in order to secure coerced confessions for the crime.
After serving pretty much of all of their prison time, the Central Park 5’s convictions were vacated in 2002 after Mathias Reyes, a convicted serial rapist and murderer, confessed to the crime.
DNA testing confirmed his involvement with the attack but Fairstein again claimed that does not mean the five other accused were not involved in the other crimes committed that evening.