Donald Trump’s unprecedented criminal indictment is bringing to light his past misdeeds and his own attitudes towards the justice system in general and the New York justice system in particular. In addition to Trump’s own actions catching up to him, many see his current legal troubles as karma catching up to him, specifically with regard to his treatment of the Exonerated Central Park 5. One of those wrongly convicted men has very publicly thrown Trump’s own words back at him.
Yusef Salaam, one of the five Black and Latinx men who as teenagers were wrongfully convicted for the 1989 beating and sexual assault of a female jogger in New York’s Central Park, took out a full-page ad noting Trump’s arrest. The ad’s title, Bring Back Justice & Fairness. Build a Brighter Future for Harlem!” references an ad that Trump placed in several newspapers in 1989 concerning the Central Park 5. As Salaam explained in a Twitter post, “Over 30 years ago, Donald Trump took out full page ads calling for my execution.” Now, Salaam wrote, “On the day he was arrested and arraigned, here is my ad in response.”
Over 30 years ago, Donald Trump took out full page ads calling for my execution.
On the day he was arrested and arraigned, here is my ad in response. pic.twitter.com/nOYKkw1LD2
— Yusef Abdus Salaam (@dr_yusefsalaam) April 5, 2023
Trump’s 1989 ad, entitled “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police!” openly called for the five accused teenagers to be executed, despite the facts that they teens were not charged with murder (as the jogger did not die) and the five teens had not even been tried at the time. The ad portrayed New York City as being terrorized by “roving bands of wild criminals” who “rape and kill and maim,” playing on sensational and racialized fearmongering themes that Trump would later use in his 2016 presidential campaign.
Now Donald Trump gets to see how the; “Central park five” felt when he took out full-page newspaper ads calling for the death penalty to be reinstated in New York state, wrongfully accusing five Black teenagers of rape of a White woman in Central Park telling the public that they… pic.twitter.com/GeKl8YqBHX
— Kenny Akers (@KeneAkers) March 31, 2023
As Salaam noted in his ad this week, Trump has stuck by his words and refused to acknowledge the that Central Park 5 were fully exonerated in 2002 when the actual attacker, a convicted murderer and rapist, confessed that he and he alone had assaulted the jogger in 1989; DNA evidence confirmed this confession. Nevertheless, Trump has simply stuck by his now-debunked belief that the five must be guilty and refusing to apologize for leading the rush to judgment against the wrongly-convicted teens. again showing a tendency towards dishonesty that Trump carried with him when into his political career.
Now Trump’s alleged lies have caught up with him, as he stands accused of 34 felonies related to falsifying business records to cover up “hush money” payments for an alleged affair with adult actress Stormy Daniels. As Blavity previously reported, Trump was arrested, processed and arraigned in Manhattan on Tuesday after becoming the first current or former president to be criminally indicted. Trump’s fate is now lying in the hands of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the same official who vacated the last of the false convictions related to the Central Park 5 case. Now, Trump’s alleged misdeeds have left him at the mercy of a New York legal system that Trump once said shouldn’t show mercy.