White House Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to answer questions about President Donald Trump’s treatment of the so-called “Central Park Five” on Wednesday, despite the sharp contrast between Trump’s attitude toward their case and his view of the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who he’s claimed has been deemed “guilty until proven innocent.”
“Central Park Five” was the moniker given to five wrongly convicted African American and Hispanic boys — Raymond Santana (above left, in 2014), Kevin Richardson (above right), Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise — in the case of the 1989 assault and rape of a jogger in Central Park.
Four of the five were pressured into giving videotaped false confessions. Each of the five boys spent years in prison before their convictions were vacated in 2002, after the true perpetrator confessed and DNA evidence confirmed his guilt. In 2014, after a decade-long lawsuit, the city of New York reached a $41 million settlement with the five men.
After the Central Park Five were accused of the crime, Trump spent $85,000 in newspaper advertisements calling to “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY.” Even after the convictions were vacated, Trump in 2016 maintained that he believed the five men were guilty — a much different standard than the one he’s applied to Kavanaugh.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders refuses to answer questions about Trump's differing standards of guilt for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the Central Park Five: pic.twitter.com/lXjtpoDBPr
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 3, 2018
Correction: This post initially stated that the victim of the 1989 Central Park attack, Trisha Meili, lost her life in the attack. In fact, she went into a coma and eventually recovered. TPM regrets the error.