On April 19, 1989, 28-year-old investment banker Trisha Meili, a white woman, was jogging in Manhattan's Central Park when she was hit over the head with a rock, tied-up, gagged, and raped. It was a crime that would shock the nation, and deepen the already rancorous divisions in racially divided New York.
Then along came Donald Trump.
Using $85,000 in spare change, the billionaire real estate developer took out full page ads in four of New York city's newspapers, including the New York Times.
@realDonaldTrump Central Park Five, Trump took out an ad requesting the death penalty for five black men later foun… https://t.co/8lMor3Dqv1— Joe Barnes (@Joe Barnes)1509642954.0
In other words, they were black and brown children who had allegedly assaulted a white woman.
In Donald Trump’s America, black and brown people deserve the death penalty. White people get thoughts and prayers. https://t.co/b9nt6FqoJS— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts)1509595166.0
In 2002, Matias Reyes, a murderer and serial rapist already serving a life sentence in prison, came forward and admitted to the crimes. DNA evidence confirmed he was the sole perpetrator.$41 million dollar settlement, the damage was done. Trump never apologized, and even now, still says the boys were guilty. Yusef Salaam believes Trump is partly to blame for their false imprisonment. "He was the fire starter," Salaam said to The Guardian. “Common citizens were being manipulated and swayed into believing that we were guilty."
Michael D’Antonio, who wrote The Truth About Trump agrees.
The Truth About Trump by Michael D'Antonio https://t.co/9dx1DuuiBO https://t.co/LjfDrfp3j3— April Spivey (@April Spivey)1508752083.0
It's an impulse he still has today.
Terrorist Sayfullo Saipov brags about deadly Manhattan truck attack while at hospital https://t.co/PPQldFRIAU https://t.co/KxDNR4FZbR— Chuck Woolery (@Chuck Woolery)1509582932.0
Trump tweeted about the attack early Thursday morning.He then followed it up with this tweet:
People immediately took to Twitter to condemn his comments for being racially divisive.
...There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017
I see you haven’t changed since the “CentralParkFive days! Will you take out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for death penalty?— COGIC Family Service (@COGICFamily) November 2, 2017
If you look at these pictures and only see one terrorist, you are a racist, disgraceful, reprobate riling up your racist base! pic.twitter.com/EBdctvYsN2— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) November 2, 2017
You should take out an ad in the Times to make sure everyone knows he should get the death penalty too.— Travon Free (@Travon) November 2, 2017
Your “extreme vetting" would’ve kept out Steve Jobs’ father, a Syrian refugee. You couldn’t tweet racist nonsense on ur iPhone this morning! pic.twitter.com/qkVV2DV4KD— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) November 2, 2017
Advocating the death penalty before trial isn't justice, it's a lynching. I despise what this man did to our city, but Trump is wrong here. https://t.co/YM80cFj7B6— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 2, 2017
How Trump responded one month ago when a white man shot nearly 600 Americans vs Manhattan terrorism.Thoughts and prayers vs death penalty. pic.twitter.com/0ymv9wL6Fl — Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) November 2, 2017
In Donald Trump’s America, black and brown people deserve the death penalty. White people get thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/b9nt6FqoJS— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) November 2, 2017
Trump makes a mockery of our system of gov't, our judicial system, & has obstructed justice several times now. Calling for the death penalty on a suspect who hasn't gone to trial yet is just another offense @GOP will let him continue for his reality shitshow presidency.— Alt Fed Employee (@Alt_FedEmployee) November 2, 2017
White man killed 7.5x more people in LV. Trump wouldn't even say "gun/guns" in speech. Now tweets "DEATH PENALTY!" because of race/religion.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) November 2, 2017
They had a point.
When asked whether the Paddock shooting was domestic terrorism, Trump declined to answer. He also had very vague answers about gun control. He said his administration would "be talking about gun laws as time goes by."
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
Fast forward to the New York shooting, and Trump had all sorts of answers.
Trump interferes with justice process for terrorist. Stupid unprecedented. https://t.co/nDmkMDF3Iu— Vince Dumond. Mask it OR Casket.6'apart or 6'under (@Vince Dumond. Mask it OR Casket.6'apart or 6'under)1509621178.0
Then he condemned the assailant's alleged organization and place of origin.
In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2017
Then he tweeted about definite measures to ensure the tragedy wouldn't repeat itself.
We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2017
Then he falsely blamed a Democratic senator for the program that allowed the assailant in.
I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
And added another tweet, again, based on a false assumption:
The terrorist came into our country through what is called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
And of course, he called for the death penalty, which had been reinstated in 1995 and then dismantled in 2007 without a single execution.
We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
At this point, it's clear Trump has a pattern.
[brown man drives car into crowd] Trump: Terrorist! Death penalty! [white man drives car into crowd] Trump: Fine people on both sides.— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid)1509625975.0