During a press conference on Tuesday (June 18), just before boarding a plane to Orlando in order to officially launch his reelection campaign, Donald Trump was asked by American Urban Radio Networks White House correspondent April Ryan about the exonerated Central Park Five.
She prompted the question: “Mr. President, will you apologize to the Central Park Five? They’ve been exonerated, there have been videos shown about the case, when you came out with a full page ad saying that they should die, that they deserved the death penalty.”
His response? “Why do you bring that question up now?” Trump asked. “It’s an interesting time to bring it up.
“You have people on both sides of that,” he continued. “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.”
The infamous case has resurfaced because of the release of Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series When They See Us, which premiered via the streaming service on May 31. Now, DuVernay is responding to Trump’s Charlottesville-like indifference to a case of such importance and lasting impact.
“It’s expected,” she said while shrugging Tuesday night, after a Women in Entertainment and Writers Guild of America West screening in Hollywood, according to the L.A. Times. “There’s nothing he says or does in relation to this case or the lives of Black people or people of color that has any weight to it. It’s not our reality, there’s no truth to it.”
Ava also tweeted a video segment of When They See Us that featured Donald Trump and his claims that Black people have an advantage over white people nowadays and mother, Linda McCray, played by Marsha Stephanie Blake, calling Trump a “devil.”
The Central Park Five were exonerated in 2002 via conclusive DNA evidence proving they had nothing to do with the rape of a Central Park jogger in 1989.
Now, after Ava DuVernay released her Netflix series When They See Us, the case has gained newfound interest among the public and even cost former prosecutor Linda Fairstein a board position in numerous organizations and her publishing agreement with Dutton Publishing.
Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET