'Trump Was Calling for Us to Be Murdered': Central Park Five Member Speaks Out in New Pro-Clinton Ad
With the Presidential election less than a month away, Yusef Salaam seeks to remind voters of the irreparable damage Donald Trump could cause with his “law and order” presidency, pointing to his own horrifying story.
Salaam was one of the Central Park Five, a group of black and Latino teens wrongfully convicted of raping a female jogger in 1990. It took over a decade to exonerate them, with DNA evidence linking another man to the crime in 2002.
But in 1989, Trump was at the forefront of The Central Park Five's condemnation.
Shortly after the initial story broke, Trump harnessed the media, calling for the boys' executions.
"Bring back the death penalty!" read Trump's infamous full-page ads.
“I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I am looking to punish them," Trump added.
"I really didn't know anything about Donald Trump until he took out those ads," Salaam admits in the video. "Every time I think about that, I think had this been the 1950's, we would have been modern day Emmett Tills."
At the time, the defendants were aged 14-16, and terrified.
“They had our names, our phone numbers and addresses in the papers so what would’ve happened?" Salaam asks."Somebody from the darkest places of society would’ve come to our homes, kicked in our doors, and drug us from our homes and hung us from the trees in Central Park. That would’ve been the type of mob justice that they were seeking."
As Trump faces increased scrutiny over his treatment of women and minorities, the case serves to remind us of of a man whose hatred allowed for the scapegoating and imprisonment of five innocent individuals, for a total of 13 years. In 2014, they recieve $40 million from New York City.
“We’ve been waiting for 25 years for justice," Salaam said at the time.
Of course, he'll never forget Trump's role in the ordeal.
“He was the fire starter,” Salaam says.
“Let’s all hate these people, because maybe hate is what we need to get something done,” Trump said to Larry King about the case in 1989.
This week, Trump defended his initial position.
“They admitted they were guilty. The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same," Trump said, despite knowing the convictions were overturned years ago.
"We definitely need to take a stance against having a person like Donald Trump be in the Oval Office," Salaam tells viewers, urging them to use their vote "collectively to make sure that the right thing happens."
"Do the right thing," he ends the spot, quoting Spike Lee.
The new anti-Trump ad is sponsored by For Our Future PAC and MoveOn.org.