UPDATED 10/27, 10:30 a.m. ET: Raymond Santana of the Exonarated Five told TMZ that he believes Donald Trump is a racist. In the video below, Santana points to the fact that Trump has never apologized for going after them as evidence that he is indeed racist. He also thanks Joe Biden for standing up for the Exonerated Five at the most recent debate.
Santana adds that Trump not acknowledging their innocence negatively impacts his life to this day.
See original story below.
Members of the Exonerated Five have spoken up in the lead-up to the election, calling out Donald Trump after he suggested he wasn't racist.
The Central Park five are already familiar with the current president, who infamously called for the return of the death penalty in full-page advertisements in May 1989, and new posts from two of them indicate they're eager to remind America of Trump's racism. The five men, who were all minors at the time Trump called for their death, were accused of raping and beating a white jogger. They were exonerated after another inmate confessed to the crime, and they settled a lawsuit with the city of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress in 2014.
When a documentary on the case was released in 2013, Trump called it a "one-sided piece of garbage," USA Today noted. When New York awarded the five $41 million in a settlement, Trump maintained that they were still guilty. He called it a "disgrace" and "the heist of the cenutry." When asked if he would apology to them last year, he replied, "You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt."
Trump claimed on Thursday that "nobody has done more for the Black community than Donald Trump," but his comments on the Exonerated Five alone would suggest otherwise.
"To the folks that's still undecided about whom to vote for this upcoming election... Allow me to reintroduce ourselves," wrote Kevin Richardson, who was tried and sentenced as an adult at age 14. "If it was up to Trump's idea of calling for the Death penalty and putting a bounty over my brothers and I head, we wouldn't be here today!"
His post includes a picture of him with a black eye from when he was arrested.
The comments come after Joe Biden attacked Trump for his history with the Central Park Five during the debate on Thursday. "This is the guy who, when the Central Park Five—five innocent black kids—he continued to push for making sure they got the death penalty," said Biden after Trump suggested he was the "least racist" person in the room. "None of them, none of them were guilty of the crimes that were suggested."
Raymond Santana, who was also tried and sentenced as an adult at the age of 14, posted a video highlighting the moment. "When Joe Biden calls out Donald Trump for wanting to give us the DEATH PENALTY," he wrote. "We were Kids!! But we are still here."
The Central Park Five's story was put back into the spotlight last year with Ava DuVernay's Netflix miniseries When They See Us.