Central Park Five's Yusef Salaam Got the Final Word on Donald Trump
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Central Park Five's Yusef Salaam Got the Final Word on Donald Trump

The exonerated New York City council candidate released an open-letter ad in response to a hateful ad Trump paid to have published in 1989, which did not age well

It took 34 years, but a member of the exonerated Central Park Five has responded to the infamous ad that former President Donald Trump placed in 1989 calling for the group’s execution.

As Cassius reports, Yusef Salaam, one of five teens who were falsely accused of raping a woman the same year the ad ran and were convicted a year later, has posted a response to Trump's, done in the same newspaper-style layout as what was placed in major New York newspapers.

Salaam, who is running for a New York City Council seat, posted the response on his Twitter account earlier this month, the same day Trump was arrested.

Trump famously paid $85,000 to run the ads, which called for the death penalty in the case against the five teens. Trump has never apologized for the ads, even when he was president. At one point, he told reporters only, "You have people on both sides of that."

The Central Park Five were cleared of the crime in 2002 and were later paid a $41 million settlement after filing a civil rights lawsuit.

Salaam's ad, a model of restraint, points out Trump's falsehoods in his original ads, concluding, "You were wrong then, and you are wrong now… Even though thirty-four years ago you effectively called for my death and the death of four other innocent children, I wish you no harm." Salaam says he hopes Trump gets what the Exonerated Five did not: "A presumption of innocence, and a fair trial."

While it has been a topic of conversation for decades in New York, the story of the Central Park Five got much more exposure in 2019 with the release of When They See Us, Ava DuVernay's acclaimed Netflix series.

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