President Trump won’t be apologizing to the subjects of Netflix’s true-crime miniseries When They See Us — the men known as the Central Park Five, who were wrongfully convicted of raping a jogger in 1989 — anytime soon.
The president was speaking with reporters outside the White House on Tuesday when he was asked by April Ryan if he would apologize to the men for an ad he ran in 1989 calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty in light of the crime.
Trump responded, “You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt. If you look at [former prosecutor] Linda Fairstein, 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.”
The Central Park Five were five young men of color — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — who were wrongfully convicted of the brutal beating and rape of a female jogger in New York City in 1989. They served prison sentences of varying lengths, but all charges were vacated and they were fully exonerated in 2002 after DNA evidence linked a serial rapist and convicted murderer to the crime. The city of New York later settled with the five men for $41 million after they sued.
Trump, who was a real-estate developer at the time, ran a full-page ad in four of New York’s newspapers after the attack declaring, “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police!”
Representatives for DuVernay and Netflix did not immediately return a request for comment.