Ava DuVernay Responds to Trump Refusing To Apologize To Central Park Five Men
Ava DuVernay is responding to President Trump’s refusal to apologize to the five men who were exonerated in the Central Park 5 case. DuVernay directed ‘When They See Us’, a dramatized account based on the experiences of the men — Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray and Yusef Salaam — who spent years in prison before being cleared of the charges.
Responding to Trump’s comments about the Central Park 5, she says,
“It’s expected. There’s nothing he says or does in relation to this case or the lives of black people or people of color that has any weight to it. It’s not our reality, there’s no truth to it. I wish I had a more juicy sound bite, but I don’t care.
She also stated that the focus should be on
“so much more than rage-tweeting back and participating in the negativity that’s so unproductive.”
On Tuesday, Trump was asked about newspaper advertisements he bought stating that New York State to adopt the death penalty after the attack. He stated during a White House Q&A,
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 never should have settled that case — so we’ll leave it at that.
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In 1989, he placed ads in four New York City newspapers calling for the state to adopt the death penalty for killers.
He made clear that he was voicing this opinion because of the rape and assault of Trisha Meili, a woman who had been jogging in Central Park.
He wrote in the ad,
“I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I am looking to punish them.”
The five teenagers were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to prison for gang-raping and nearly killing Ms. Meili. Their convictions were vacated in 2002, and the city paid $41 million in 2014 to settle their civil rights lawsuit.
Linda Fairstein, the former prosecutor, has received backlash for her involvement in the case.
She has resigned from a number of prominent boards, including that of Vassar College, her alma mater. The lead prosecutor on the 1989 case, Elizabeth Lederer, resigned this month as a lecturer at Columbia Law School.
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