Wading into a racially-charged case from his past, Donald Trump indicated that the "Central Park Five" were guilty, despite being officially exonerated by DNA evidence decades after a notorious 1989 rape case.
"They admitted they were guilty," Trump said to CNN in a statement.
"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."
The five men were convicted as teenagers after implicating each other under intense questioning over a brutal sexual assault on a jogger that dominated the tabloids. Defenders said they were coerced into confessing and all five were later cleared by DNA evidence and a separate confession in 2002 from another criminal who took credit for the assault.
New York paid them $41 million in a settlement in 2014 over their ordeal.
At the time Trump took out this ad in the New York Times.
“BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!”
Trump’s ads declared in bold letters.Trump appealed to then-Mayor Ed Koch for a city without “the constant chant of ‘police brutality.’” He wanted death for anyone who looked, acted or sounded like the Central Park Five.
“They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes,” he wrote. “I want to hate these murderers and I always will … I no longer want to understand their anger. I want them to be afraid.”
I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that Donald Trump's African American outreach is not going to well.