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The History of Donald Trump and The Central Park Five

Updated 31 May 2019 33.5k views10 items

People living in America are well aware of the various controversies surrounding Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States - but the people of New York City have been at the forefront of the infamous conflict between Trump and the Central Park Five. The Five were a group of minority youths who were accused of a horrific attack on a female jogger, Trisha Meili. On April 19, 1989, Meili, a 28-year-old investment banker, was jogging through Central Park around 9:00 pm when she was attacked. The attack put Meili in a coma for 12 days and left her with severe brain damage, though she was able to mostly overcome this after years of rehabilitation.

The brazen assault on an innocent woman in the middle of Central Park greatly shocked the people of New York, and the incident became one of the most heavily covered crime stories of the 1980s. Of course, the fact that Donald Trump was one of those shocked New Yorkers had a lot to do with that extensive coverage. The appearance of a Trump Central Park Five ad calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty in several local newspapers only served to further inflame the controversy. What was originally a single, terrible assault quickly spiraled into a racially tinged debate and a highly questionable police investigation.

In the end, the Central Park Five were each convicted and sentenced to a number of years in prison, and it would be more than a decade before the real attacker, Matias Reyes, confessed and was confirmed with DNA evidence.

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