A member of the Central Park Five responded to Donald Trump’s indictment and arrest by posting a full-page ad, similar to the former president’s call for their execution over 30 years ago .
The five black and Latino men, who were teenagers at the time, were wrongfully jailed for the 1989 rape of a white woman in New York’s Central Park after being forced to confess to the crime they had not committed.
Although known as the Central Park Five, the members call themselves the “Exonerated Five” because they had served time in prison before being exonerated in 2002.
The five men later received a multi-million dollar settlement from New York.
“Over 30 years ago Donald Trump ran full-page ads calling for my execution,” Exonerated Five member Yusef Salaam tweeted on Tuesday. “The day he was arrested and indicted, here is my announcement in response.”
The ad was titled, “Bring Justice and Fairness Back. Build a better future for Harlem.
“For those asking for my statement on the indictment of Donald Trump – who never apologized for calling for my execution – here it is: Karma,” Salaam previously tweeted.
In 1989, when Mr. Trump was a real estate developer, he ran full-page advertisements in four New York newspapers – New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post And New York Press Day — calling on the state to reinstate the death penalty following the Central Park crime.
Mr. Salaam’s full-page ad had something to say to the former president.
“Here is my message to you, Mr. Trump: In response to multiple federal and state criminal investigations you are facing, you have responded by warning of ‘potential death and destruction’ and posting a photo of yourself with a baseball bat, next to a picture of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg,” he said.
“These actions, like your actions leading up to the January 6 insurrection on the United States Capitol, are an attack on our security.”
“Thirty-four years ago, your full-page ad read, in all caps: CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SECURITY BEGINS,” he added.
“You were wrong then and you’re wrong now. The civil liberties of all Americans are grounded in the United States Constitution, and many of us fight every day to uphold those rights, even in the face of those like you who seek to destroy them.
Mr Salaam said that although the twice-impeached president had called for his execution and that of “four other children”, “I wish you no harm”.
The announcement ended with another message for Mr. Trump: “And if the charges are proven and you are found guilty, I hope you will bear all the penalties imposed with the same force and dignity as the exonerated five. showed while we were serving our sentence for a crime we did not commit.
On March 30, a New York grand jury voted to indict Mr. Trump over an alleged silent payment of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
“He has committed no crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in court,” his attorneys Susan Cecheles and Joe Tacopina said.
The former president pleaded not guilty to all charges when he appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday.
Mr Trump raised his fist in defiance as he arrived at the courthouse amid a heavy security presence from the New York Police Department and the Secret Service.
The ex-president went to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg when he arrived in court at 1:24 p.m. He was arrested and his fingerprints were taken from a room on the 7th floor of the courthouse.