As the fallout mounts over the handling of the “Central Park 5” case, President Trump refused Tuesday to apologize for his actions at the time. Trump ran full-page newspaper ads during the 1989 case, calling for the death penalty for the five teenage boys of color who were wrongfully accused and convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. They were eventually exonerated, and the case has been brought back into the spotlight following the release of Ava DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries “When They See Us.” Longtime White House correspondent April Ryan, who is African-American, asked Trump if he would apologize for his actions.
President Donald Trump: “You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt. If you look at Linda Fairstein and if 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.”
Former prosecutor Linda Fairstein was dropped by her publisher and forced to step down from several nonprofit and education boards in recent weeks. Meanwhile, New York Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has backed a call from activists to reopen other cases tried by Fairstein and prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has so far refused.