More than a decade after five Black and Latino teenagers were exonerated in the rape of a woman in Central Park, President Trump still refuses to apologize for publicly calling for the teens to be executed.
Trump was asked Tuesday by American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan if he’ll “apologize to the Central Park Five,” who were wrongly convicted as teenagers in the 1989 rape of a white female jogger.
“Why do you bring that question up now? It’s an interesting time to bring it up,” Trump responded on the White House lawn.
Related Story: Netflix Says ‘When They See Us’ Is Its Most-Watched Series
Ryan then mentioned Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series When They See Us saying: “Movies and everything about them,” before Trump cut her off.
“You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt,” he said. “If you look at Linda Fairstein and if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should never have settled that case. So we’ll leave it at that.”
[Watch the video below]
When the case made headlines, Trump took out a full page newspaper ad calling for the teens to be executed.
“BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY AND BRING BACK OUR POLICE,” the ad said in all capital letters.
The teens were 14 to 16 years old at the time, and confessed after being coerced by police.
All of the rape and assault convictions against the five (Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam) were vacated in 2002 due to DNA evidence and a confession from serial rapist Matias Reyes.
On Tuesday, in response to Trump’s comments, DuVernay said she wasn’t surprised by Trump’s response, according to TheWrap. What did surprise her was that it took so long for Trump to mention the case.
“There’s nothing that he says or does in relation to this case, in relation to the lives of five people of color, that really has any weight to it or truth to it,” DuVernay said at a screening of the series. “I’m surprised it took him so long. I was waiting every day to get a tweet.”
Watch the video of Trump’s comments below.