Two members of the Central Park Five have criticized President Donald Trump over recent tweets arguing that a “mere allegation” has the potential to shatter people’s lives without proper due process.
During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday, exoneree Raymond Santana said he was unsurprised by Trump’s comments. Santana was one of five teens wrongfully convicted in the brutal rape and assault of a Central Park jogger in 1989.
“It was like here were go again. Another day that he does something that’s dumb and ignorant,” Santana said of Trump’s tweet.
The president took to Twitter on Saturday and complained that there’s no due process for the accused following the sudden resignations of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter and speechwriter David Sorensen. Both men stepped down from their posts amid allegations of domestic abuse.
Trump didn’t feel the same about due process in the Central Five case, however, said Yusuf Salaam, another Central Park Five exoneree. Back in ’89, Trump purchased full-page ads in various New York City newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty and stronger policing. Salaam said the president’s recent comments indicate two separate Americas.
“One America for blacks and people of color and another America for whites and people of affluence,” he told Cooper. “…What he’s doing for the good old boys club, you know in his own affluenza, he’s saying, ‘Hey look, let’s not rush to judge. The [Porter] said that he’s innocent of these particular charges. As a matter of fact he strongly said it.’ We strongly said the same thing back in 1989.”
The two men said they don’t expect an apology from the president any time soon.