Ava DuVernay did not let Donald Trump slide when he hypocritically tweeted about "due process" over the weekend. The award-winning director quickly called out Trump for his role in the racially-charged Central Park Five case – and his hypocrisy in defending two former White House aides who resigned last week amid domestic abuse allegations.
White House speechwriter David Sorensen, and staff secretary Rob Porter, both resigned amid domestic abuse allegations made by their ex-wives. President Trump appeared to come to the defense of the former White House staffers on Saturday by tweeting that "… lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation." He also wrote, "There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?"
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
But Trump sang an entirely different tune in 1989 when he reportedly spent $85,000 in ad money to call for the death penalty – without providing names – seemingly for five black and Latino teenagers accused of assaulting and raping a white woman in Central Park. Despite there being no DNA evidence linking the teenagers to the crime, the Central Park Five: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, were convicted. Four of the five teenagers confessed on videotape, which was later widely recognized as a result of coercive interrogation practices by the police. All five recanted their confessions. In 2002, the Central Park Five were exonerated due to DNA evidence linking someone else to the crime.
In a 2002 interview with the New York Times, Michael W. Warren, a lawyer for the men, said he believed Trump's rhetoric "colored the eyes of prospective jurors."
"It was outrageous,'' Warren said. ''The manner that Mr. Trump used to engage in his own personal form of rhetoric. A lot of people felt it colored the eyes of prospective jurors who ultimately sat on the case. Now it's even more appalling, with new evidence that points exclusively to another person. I think Donald Trump at the very least owes a real apology to this community and to the young men and their families.''
In response to Trump's tweet on Saturday, DuVernay fired back by sharing a quote by Santana, one of the Central Park Five, on Twitter:
We will tell the story. You can’t hide. https://t.co/CRdjqOLNBn
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 11, 2018
DuVernay's limited series on the Central Park Five is set to debut next year, Variety reports.
Let him know, Ava!