Members of the group of men who were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman has condemned President Donald Trump for his hypocritical attitude toward due process.
In 1989, Yusef Salaam was among five then-teenagers jailed for over five years for the rape of a White jogger in Central Park. The group of Black and Latino boys were dubbed the Central Park Five. When the teens were first accused of the crime, Trump paid $85,000 for full page ads in several major New York City daily newspapers calling for their executions.
His presumption of their guilt and the witch-hunt he’d called for serve as quite the juxtaposition to his recent defense of a recently resigned White House staffer who has been accused of domestic abuse.
“Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” Trump wrote on Saturday. “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?”
Salaam, now an activist and motivational speaker, responded to Trump’s sudden due process advocacy.
“Here you had Donald Trump taking out a full page ad, two weeks in, rushing to judgement. Finding out 13 years later after he did all that that we were not the real culprits,” Salaam said on MSNBC Sunday.
“The Central Park Five, their families,” he continued. “We were not able to move on with our lives. Our lives were completely destroyed and devastated. Any kind of dream or idea or goal that we had in life was quickly erased by this accusation.”
Raymond Santana, also a member of the Central Park Five also didn’t take well to Trump’s tweets saying, “[He] should have spoke like that back in 1989.”
Renowned director Ava DuVernay co-signed Santana’s statement.
We will tell the story. You can’t hide. https://t.co/CRdjqOLNBn
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 11, 2018