Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File
- Donald Trump declined to apologize for his controversial position in 1989 on the Exonerated 5.
- Now that he’s been indicted, a member of the group’s response was “Karma.”
- Yusef Salaam said on Twitter that Trump “never said sorry for calling for my execution.”
As President, Donald Trump declined to apologize for his controversial position in 1989 on the Central Park 5, the five Black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of assaulting and raping a White woman in Central Park.
Now that Trump has been indicted in New York, a member of that exonerated group has a concise response: “Karma.”
Yusef Salaam, now a candidate for New York City Council, noted in his brief statement on Twitter that Trump “never said sorry for calling for my execution.”
—Yusef Abdus Salaam (@dr_yusefsalaam) March 30, 2023
In 1989, Trump bought newspaper advertisements calling for New York State to adopt the death penalty after the attack on the jogger. He made clear that he was speaking out because of the attack, though the ads did not explicitly call for the death penalty for the five defendants, The New York Times reported.
The five teenagers, including Salaam, were convicted, but said they were coerced into giving confessions for crimes they didn’t commit.
“You have people on both sides of that,” Trump said in 2019, when asked about it at the White House. “They admitted their guilt.”
Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury in connection with hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, making him the first former president to be criminally charged.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who protested outside the courthouse during their trials, said in a statement to Insider, “All I can say is, what goes around comes around.”
“It’s not lost on those of us who were there in 1989 that Donald Trump will likely walk into the same courthouse where the Exonerated 5 were falsely convicted for a crime they did not commit,” he said. “Let’s not forget that it was Donald Trump who took out full-page ads calling for these five Black and Brown young men to get the death penalty. This is the same man who’s now calling for violence when he has to go through the same system. The same man will have to stand up in a courtroom and see firsthand what the criminal justice system is like.”