White supremacist who killed black man in New York charged with terrorism

White supremacist who killed black man in New York charged with terrorism
The self-professed white supremacist who admits to traveling to New York specifically to kill black men is facing terrorism charges after fatally stabbing a black man with a sword. He also faces a hate crime charge for the murder.

On Monday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced the indictment of James Jackson, 28, who is being charged with first and second-degree murder as an act of terrorism, as well as second-degree murder as a hate crime and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate,” Vance said.

Jackson, an Army veteran living in Baltimore, allegedly took the bus to New York City, where he stalked several black men with the aim of killing them. However, sources who saw footage of Jackson stalking one black man say he got “spooked” by his potential victim.

He appeared to be very close, following a black guy,” a law enforcement source told the New York Daily News. “He slows down and at one point he turned around and came back. It’s clear he was really focused on the guy for some time. Then, he falls out of camera view and doesn’t attack the guy. He made statements that he was following the guy but something spooked him.

In the Monday press release, the Manhattan DA said Jackson chose to travel to New York because it is “the media capital of the world, and a place where people of different races live together and love one another.

James Jackson wanted to kill black men, planned to kill black men, and then did kill a black man. We must never take for granted New York’s remarkable diversity. We must celebrate it, protect it, and refuse to let violence and hate undermine the progress we have made as a city, a state, and a nation,” Vance said.

On March 20, Jackson found Timothy Caughman, 66,  gathering plastic bottles for recycling. Jackson stabbed Caughman in the back and chest with an 18-inch blade several times. Caughman managed to stumble into the Midtown South Precinct station house on West 35th Street, where paramedics rushed him to Bellevue Hospital. He later died from his injuries.

More than 24 hours later, Jackson walked into an NYPD station in Times Square and surrendered himself to the police. He admitted to killing Caughman and said he did it because of his deep-seated rage against black men. Jackson also informed police that he was a member of a white supremacist group.

Jackson was sent to Rikers Island, where he had an interview with New York Daily News on Sunday.

He said he intended for the first murder to be “a practice run.” But after killing Caughman, Jackson says he got “depressed.”

I saw it was too late. It’s irreversible,” he said, adding, “I didn’t want to put my family through any more pain.

Jackson told reporters that he wished he would have rather killed “a young thug” or “a successful older black man with blondes … people you see in Midtown.

I’m sorry I killed that man,” Jackson said. “It was pitch black, I picked a dark place. I didn’t know he was elderly.

Jackson said he originally planned to kill multiple black men in order to deter white women from interracial relationships. He hoped that white women would see the crimes he committed, and think to themselves, “‘Well, if that guy feels so strongly about it, maybe I shouldn’t do it.’

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Jackson’s alleged crimes “domestic, racist terrorism.

The killing of Timothy Caughman is domestic, racist terrorism. We must fight the current atmosphere of hate around the country.

More than an unspeakable human tragedy, this is an assault on what makes this the greatest city in the world: our inclusiveness and our diversity,” de Blasio said in a statement released Thursday. “Now it’s our collective responsibility to speak clearly and forcefully in the face of intolerance and violence — here or across the country. We are a safe city because we are inclusive. We are a nation of unrivaled strength because we are diverse. No act of violence can undermine who we are.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that Jackson’s crimes need to be “treated the same way as we treat ISIS,” according to New York Daily News.

Jackson says that he doesn’t understand how the hate crime charge applies to him.

“I don’t hate anyone I don’t think is on my level,” he said during the interview with the New York Daily News.

Blizzard watch issued for New York, Boston as storm forecast to hit Northeast

Forecasters said Sunday there’s a blizzard watch for coastal regions including New York City and Boston for Monday night into Tuesday.

National Weather Service officials said there also is a winter storm watch for a larger area that includes much of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, upstate New York and New England.

The severe weather comes just a week after the region saw temperatures climb into the 60s. The chilly weather and snow some areas got on Friday is expected to be just a teaser.

“It’s a noticeable difference. It’s going to be a cold week,” said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Weather Prediction Center in Maryland.

The blizzard watch for the New York metro area encompasses New York City along with Long Island, coastal Connecticut and southern Westchester County.

Carlie Buccola, a weather service meteorologist based on Long Island, said a snowfall of 12 to 18 inches is predicted for the area along with sustained winds up to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Visibility could be a quarter mile or less, Buccola said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the New York State Emergency Operations Center will be activated Monday evening, with stockpiles of sandbags, generators and pumps at the ready.

The lower Hudson Valley and northeastern New Jersey could also get 12 to 18 inches of snow, Buccola said. The blizzard watch is not extended to those areas because high winds and low visibility are not expected.

Southern Rhode Island and coastal Massachusetts could possibly receive those blizzard conditions.

Washington is not officially under a winter storm watch but Hurley said the city could get 4 to 8 inches of snow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Kim Jong-nam, Mosul, Immigration: Your Morning Briefing

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

CreditCharles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, via Associated Press

A more aggressive culture is taking hold at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as thousands of newly empowered agents begin to work toward the Trump administration’s plan to deport vast numbers of undocumented immigrants.

A shooting in Kansas, which left one Indian engineer dead and another injured, drew condemnation from India and raised new concerns about a climate of hostility toward foreigners.

CreditKcna, via /European Pressphoto Agency

The U.S. State Department’s plans to hold informal talks with North Korea appear to have been derailed by a series of developments, including the recent killing of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader.

The Malaysian government announced that the banned VX nerve agent was used in the killing and said the dose was so high that he died within 20 minutes.

North Korea’s secrecy is sometimes undermined by the government itself. The photo above, of the country’s leader unveiling what he claimed was a new nuclear device in 2016, above, reveals more than he intended.

A fire smolders on land cleared for soy farming in Propiedad Valle Verde, near Santa Cruz, Bolivia.CreditJim Wickens/Ecostorm

The Save the Rainforest” movement significantly slowed deforestation across the Amazon basin a decade ago.

But now agricultural companies are roaring back in, cutting back forests in response to the world’s growing appetite for soy and other crops.

CreditRex Features, via Associated Press

Global millionaires are on the move — most often to Australia.

A new report sets the runners-up as the U.S., Canada, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.

The countries that millionaires are fleeing: France, China, Brazil, India and Turkey.

CreditMonica Almeida for The New York Times

And it’s Hollywood’s big night. Here’s what to watch for.

After two straight years of #OscarsSoWhite, there are six black nominees and one of Asian heritage this year in the four acting categories. Our Race/Related newsletter takes a closer look, and includes a new short documentary that was a prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival.

CreditManu Fernandez/Associated Press

• The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week will unveil smartphones, tablets and technology that showcase the increasing overlap of telecommunications, news media and technology. Huawei’s P10 is scoring positive reviews.

Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, gives tomorrow’s keynote address at the Mobile World Congress as the American content-streaming giant expands rapidly in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, lauded the “miraculous” qualities of the U.S. economy in his annual letter to shareholders in his company, Berkshire Hathaway. He went out of his way to credit to a “tide of talented and ambitious immigrants.”

• Even executives at Sony have been surprised by the success of the PlayStation VR, virtual reality headsets that have been selling out for months.

• U.S. marketing companies are paying TV watchers to install a device that monitors their viewing habits — and even whether their eyes shift from the screen, or smile or frown during commercials.

• Pacific Island governments and others are working to modernize the cultivation of kava, a drink that creates a mellow buzz, which once brought $200 million a year to the region.

• Wall Street was up. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

MARKET SNAPSHOT 5:46 PMView Full Overview

  • S.& P. 500–0.02%
  • DOW–0.03%
  • NASDAQ–0.02%

In the News

CreditAhmad Al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State pushed deeper into western Mosul, aiming to capture a bridge across the Tigris from government-held territory on the eastern bank. [Reuters]

• U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis must balance pragmatism with Mr. Trump’s extreme impulses as he submits his plan for defeating the Islamic State to the president this week. [The New York Times]

• Tunisia, which has seen more jihadists leave to join the Islamic State than any other country, fears their return as the militant group suffers defeats in Iraq and Syria. [The New York Times]

• China first overseas military base is taking shape in the Horn of African, just a few miles from one of the Pentagon’s largest foreign installations. [The New York Times]

Fishing boats returned to a port in Fukushima, Japan, for the first time since the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. [The Asahi Shimbun]

• The police in Taiwan raided a dried tofu factory and rescued four migrant workers — two Indonesians, a Vietnamese and a Filipino — who had been held against their will for up to 14 years. [Taiwan News]

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines will defend his world welterweight title in a “super fight” against Amir Khan of Britain, on April 23. [ESPN]

• China’s latest internet phenomenon is a 94-year-old “kung fu grandma” in rural Zhejiang Province. [BBC]

Smarter Living

Photo

CreditMary Altaffer/Associated Press

• New Year’s resolutions: For all of February, Smarter Living has been here to help you stick to your goals, and today is our final edition. We kicked off with establishing accountability, then talked about forming habits to stay motivated, finding support systems and forgiving yourself when you falter.

We’ve read every one of your emails, and we’ve been delighted to see your motivation build.

We want to continue tracking your progress throughout the year, so please email us with how you’re doing, plus tips and tricks for staying motivated, overcoming slip-ups and anything else.

Best of luck!

• Recipe of the day: A recipe for classic mashed potatoes always delivers. Just don’t forget the gravy.

Noteworthy

Photo

CreditOmar Havana for The New York Times

• A Cambodian grandmother living in bucolic peace was freed of charges of overseeing the slaughter of tens of thousands as a Khmer Rouge official when a U.N.-backed tribunal dismissed her case.

• Forget fishing, golf or quilting. Older New Zealanders are finding purpose in coffin-building clubs. One group’s motto: “fine and affordable underground furniture.”

• And good news for current and former smokers: Each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables is associated with a 4 to 8 percent lower risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Back Story

CreditPool photo by Associated Press

The beginnings of a revolution in archaeology started on this day in 1940, when a pair of scientists, Martin D. Kamen and Samuel Ruben, confirmed the existence of carbon-14.

A few years later, another scientist, Willard Libby, figured out how to use the isotope to determine the age of fossils and other natural artifacts.

At death, the carbon-14 in living creatures begins to decay. The rate is predictable, so the amount that remains, calculated with a number of other factors, can set relatively precise ages up to about 50,000 years.

Libby won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for radiocarbon dating, but tragedy struck Ruben. In 1943, he died in a laboratory accident.

For Kamen, a dinner with two Soviet officials in 1944, when he was working on the Manhattan Project, set off rumors that he was a spy.

He lost his job at the University of California, Berkeley, but was eventually able to teach again. One of his last positions was as emeritus professor at U.C. San Diego, where he had helped found the chemistry department decades earlier.

In 1995, seven years before his death, he received the prestigious Enrico Fermi Award for lifetime achievement. “It’s vindication,” he said.

Sean Alfano contributed reporting.

_____

Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.

What would you like to see here? Contact us at asiabriefing@nytimes.com.

Trump told by New York mayor that city is ‘fearful’ of him

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at Trump Tower on 16 November 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio emerges from Trump Tower

New York’s mayor says he has told US President-elect Donald Trump people in the city are “fearful” of what his White House administration could bring.

During a meeting at Trump Tower, Bill de Blasio said he warned the Republican he would aim to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.

He said Mr Trump’s plans would not work in “the ultimate city of immigrants”.

Mr Trump wants to deport or jail up to three million undocumented immigrants who he says have criminal records.

This figure is much disputed. The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, estimates there are actually about 820,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal records, including many whose only conviction is for crossing the border illegally.

Mr de Blasio is not the only city leader to oppose the incoming US president’s immigration policies.

Media captionTrump’s name removed from NYC buildings

The mayors of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC have also vowed to protect their immigrant residents from deportation.

In other developments:

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rebuked anti-Trump protesters in the US, saying: “Hold on a second. The election process just ended, show some respect! How will he govern, let’s see that first”
  • House Democrats sent a letter to Mr Trump calling on him to rescind the appointment of Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, after critics accused him of peddling white nationalist hate
  • The president of the Czech Republic said he hopes Mr Trump’s ex-wife, Ivana, will become the new US ambassador after the socialite expressed interest in taking up the post in her Eastern European motherland

Mr De Blasio vowed after Mr Trump’s election victory to delete the names of undocumented workers from a city database to prevent them from being rounded up.

The New York mayor, a liberal Democrat, told reporters his hour-long meeting with Mr Trump had been “respectful” and “candid”.

Media captionTrump election: Family divided over Trump rhetoric

“I reiterated to him that this city and so many cities around the country will do all we can to protect our residents and to make sure that families are not torn apart,” he told reporters.

He added that New York – home to nearly three times the national average of foreign born citizens – “has succeeded because it was open for everyone, the place built of generation after generation of immigrants”.

But Mr de Blasio also said Mr Trump “loves” his hometown, which voted by a large margin for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Grey line

Read more:

Grey line

As they met, Mr Trump’s name was being removed from three buildings in New York City following a petition by residents who opposed his election.

Workers on an elevated platform took down his moniker, one gold letter at a time, from the apartment blocks on the west side.

But his flagship Manhattan tower, where the Republican has been holed up preparing for his January inauguration as the nation’s 45th president, was not affected.

On Wednesday, he criticised claims of disarray in his transition, singling out the New York Times for reporting that world leaders have had trouble contacting him.

US President Barack Obama in Athens, Greece
Image captionUS President Barack Obama said in Greece that he and Mr Trump “could not be more different”

The property mogul tweeted that he had taken calls from many foreign leaders, adding: “@nytimes is just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me.”

Mr Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence have spoken with 29 world leaders since the election, according to a statement from the transition team.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be the first foreign leader to meet the new US president-elect, in New York on Thursday.

Media captionSenior Republican strategist Mike Duhaime explains to Radio 4’s Today the nature of Trump’s transition to the White House.

Meanwhile, current US President Barack Obama continued his farewell foreign trip, acknowledging in Greece that he and Mr Trump “could not be more different”.

As he toured Athens, birthplace of democracy, Mr Obama added: “As long as we retain our faith in the people, as long as we don’t waver from those central principles that ensure a lively, open debate, then our future will be ok.”

Ban Ki-moon on President al-Assad: ‘More than 300,000 people have been killed because of his failure of leadership’

“Of course we should have started much earlier, we should have prevented Srebrenica, we should have prevented the Rwandan genocide. In Aleppo, we’re doing our utmost efforts,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

DW Conflict Zone - Gast Ban Ki-moon (DW)

Ban told DW host Michel Friedman that “the future of one person, like President Assad, should not block this process.” Asked if he considered Assad a mass murderer, Ban said that that was for other institutions to decide but added: “It’s true that because of his failure of leadership so many people have died, more than 300,000 people have been killed.”

Syrien Aleppo Bergung Opfer Luftangriff (picture-alliance/AA/I. Ebu Leys)Rescue team in Aleppo

The UN Secretary-General said that “the United States and Russia are also working very hard” to improve the situation in Syria. On diplomatic relations between Russia and the US he said: “Their relationship has been a little sensitive. I have urged Secretary Kerry and the Russian side to restore the cessation of hostilities, so we can deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance. We have to deliver a minimum for the five million people who are in besieged areas and hard-to-reach areas.”

On whether Russia is part of the problem or the solution in Syria, Ban Ki-moon said: “As a secretary general, I’m not here to make any determinations on who is wrong or who is right.”

Ban urged the UN member states “to fully abide by human rights principles and the values of the United Nations. After all, the UN exists for the people. We are serving the people.” He admitted that “there are some areas where the UN can improve its effectiveness and efficiencies.” However, crises and conflicts in Srebrenica, Darfur, Rwanda and Aleppo would have been even worse if the UN did not exist, he said. “If we didn’t have the United Nations at this time, the situation [in Aleppo] would have been much more tragic, much more bloody.”

USA UN-Sicherheitsrat tagt in New York zu Syrien (Getty Images/AFP/D. Reuter)UN Security Council in New York

On the future of the UN Security Council, Ban said: “Considering the tremendous changes which are taking place in this world, it’s natural that the member states want to see a Security Council mostly responsible for international peace and security; more democratic, more transparent, more representative, so that they can effectively address international peace and security concerns. But unfortunately, member states have not been able to agree on anything including the size or formation of how this is possible.”

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stands during meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York (Reuters/M. Segar)

Ban Ki-moon, born in South Korea in 1944, has been UN Secretary-General since 2007. When he retires in 2017, he will be succeeded by Antonio Guterres, former Portuguese prime minister and UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Renowned journalists Tim Sebastian and Michel Friedman take turns in presenting DW’s top political talk show “Conflict Zone” with German and international decision-makers. The program airs every Wednesday at 17.30 UTC and is available online on demand.

US election 2016: Trump and his Central Park Five defiance

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Donald TrumpImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
The weekend’s revelations about Donald Trump’s sexually aggressive boasts overshadowed comments he made last week about the 1989 Central Park Five case. This deserves more attention.
Last week, just before the explosive ‘hot mic’ tape upheaved the Republican nominee’s campaign, Mr Trump told CNN he still believes the Central Park Five are guilty, despite DNA evidence.
“They admitted they were guilty. The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous,” he said in a statement to the network.
The Central Park Five were five teenagers, aged 15 to 18, who were arrested and convicted in the 1989 beating and rape of a 28-year-old female jogger in Central Park, New York City.
The woman, Trisha Meili, nearly died of her injuries and remained in a coma for 12 days. The teenagers were black or Hispanic. Meili was white.
The heinous attack was committed while New York City was in the throes of a crack epidemic and the number of homicides were reaching all-time highs.
In this climate, and in response to the attack, Donald Trump – then known only as the flashy real estate developer who had just purchased the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City – took out a full-page ad in four New York newspapers.
“Bring back the death penalty. Bring back our police!” the ad read.
Trump and wife Ivanka in 1989Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionDonald Trump in 1989
“I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyse or understand them, I am looking to punish them,” he continued.
“Civil liberties end when an attack on our safety begins!”
Then, in 2002, a new investigation revealed that serial rapist and convicted murderer Matias Reyes had actually committed the crime.
He confessed he had acted alone. DNA evidence confirmed his account.
The Central Park Five were all freed after serving between six and 13 years in prison. The city paid them a $40m (£24m) settlement.
They told harrowing tales of their time in police custody and behind bars.
Nevertheless, Mr Trump has never apologised for his ads or acknowledged the existence of the true perpetrator.
To this day, he insists the Central Park Five are guilty.
Soon after Mr Trump made the statement to CNN, the Washington Post broke the story of the Republican nominee bragging as he filmed a 2005 segment for Access Hollywood that he could grab women’s genitals.
In the ensuing uproar, the Central Park Five comments were lost.
With them went an opportunity to carefully examine why Mr Trump refuses to accept the exonerations of the five men, and what implications that has for a Trump presidency.
There were no questions about it at the Sunday debate.
However, many prominent observers want the moment marked.
“Apparently Mr Trump is unfamiliar with the concept of wrongful conviction,”tweeted documentarian Ken Burns, who made a critically acclaimed film about the bungled investigation and prosecution of the five boys.
“He should be apologising for calling for their death, not claiming they’re guilty,”tweeted California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. “This is not ‘law and order’.”
Kevin Richardson, one of the five men wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989,Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionKevin Richardson, one of the five men wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989, speaks after a city settlement in 2014
Some, like the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, called Mr Trump’s stance blatantly racist.
“For young African American and Latino men, Trump has a clear and ominous message: You must be guilty of something. Not even scientific proof can convince him otherwise,” Robinson wrote.
“If that is not racism, the word has no meaning.”
Mr Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his mistake is even more puzzling given that there is nothing particularly partisan to dig into here.
Both Republicans and Democrats say that the country is in need of criminal justice reform, and the existence of false confessions has been proven time and time again through DNA evidence.
It seems that as the “law and order” candidate, Mr Trump believes there can be no acknowledgment of past mistakes.
As Vox’s Victoria Massie writes, “by refusing to recognise when the law has wronged citizens, he sets a dangerous message that justice is not necessary to maintain social order”.
This is also the candidate who praised the New York City Police Department’s use of stop-and-frisk policing, a technique that a judge deemed unconstitutional because a disproportionate number of those who were stopped were black and Hispanic.
The data shows that the policy was largely ineffective.
And yet, it’s the main policy Mr Trump cites when asked how he will improve life for black Americans in the US.
On Friday, several members of the Central Park Five went public with statements of their own, condemning Mr Trump’s remarks.
“He’s gotten worse,” Yusef Salaam told Mother Jones. “He believes in everything he’s put out there.”
Wrongfully convicted Central Park jogger rapist Yusef Salaam, shown in 1990Image copyrightAP
Image captionYusef Salaam (shown in 1990), was one of five black or Hispanic youths wrongfully convicted in the racially charged case
As Republicans fled the Trump campaign in droves on Saturday, only SenatorJohn McCain acknowledged Mr Trump’s “outrageous statements about the innocent men in the Central Park Five” case.
Mr McCain used a word for the defendants that Mr Trump never has: “innocent”.

US election 2016: Trump and his Central Park Five defiance

Donald TrumpImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The weekend’s revelations about Donald Trump’s sexually aggressive boasts overshadowed comments he made last week about the 1989 Central Park Five case. This deserves more attention.

Last week, just before the explosive ‘hot mic’ tape upheaved the Republican nominee’s campaign, Mr Trump told CNN he still believes the Central Park Five are guilty, despite DNA evidence.

“They admitted they were guilty. The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous,” he said in a statement to the network.

The Central Park Five were five teenagers, aged 15 to 18, who were arrested and convicted in the 1989 beating and rape of a 28-year-old female jogger in Central Park, New York City.

The woman, Trisha Meili, nearly died of her injuries and remained in a coma for 12 days. The teenagers were black or Hispanic. Meili was white.

The heinous attack was committed while New York City was in the throes of a crack epidemic and the number of homicides were reaching all-time highs.

In this climate, and in response to the attack, Donald Trump – then known only as the flashy real estate developer who had just purchased the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City – took out a full-page ad in four New York newspapers.

“Bring back the death penalty. Bring back our police!” the ad read.

Trump and wife Ivanka in 1989Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionDonald Trump in 1989

“I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyse or understand them, I am looking to punish them,” he continued.

“Civil liberties end when an attack on our safety begins!”

Then, in 2002, a new investigation revealed that serial rapist and convicted murderer Matias Reyes had actually committed the crime.

He confessed he had acted alone. DNA evidence confirmed his account.

The Central Park Five were all freed after serving between six and 13 years in prison. The city paid them a $40m (£24m) settlement.

They told harrowing tales of their time in police custody and behind bars.

Nevertheless, Mr Trump has never apologised for his ads or acknowledged the existence of the true perpetrator.

To this day, he insists the Central Park Five are guilty.

Soon after Mr Trump made the statement to CNN, the Washington Post broke the story of the Republican nominee bragging as he filmed a 2005 segment for Access Hollywood that he could grab women’s genitals.

In the ensuing uproar, the Central Park Five comments were lost.

With them went an opportunity to carefully examine why Mr Trump refuses to accept the exonerations of the five men, and what implications that has for a Trump presidency.

There were no questions about it at the Sunday debate.

However, many prominent observers want the moment marked.

“Apparently Mr Trump is unfamiliar with the concept of wrongful conviction,”tweeted documentarian Ken Burns, who made a critically acclaimed film about the bungled investigation and prosecution of the five boys.

“He should be apologising for calling for their death, not claiming they’re guilty,”tweeted California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. “This is not ‘law and order’.”

Kevin Richardson, one of the five men wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989,Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionKevin Richardson, one of the five men wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989, speaks after a city settlement in 2014

Some, like the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, called Mr Trump’s stance blatantly racist.

“For young African American and Latino men, Trump has a clear and ominous message: You must be guilty of something. Not even scientific proof can convince him otherwise,” Robinson wrote.

“If that is not racism, the word has no meaning.”

Mr Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his mistake is even more puzzling given that there is nothing particularly partisan to dig into here.

Both Republicans and Democrats say that the country is in need of criminal justice reform, and the existence of false confessions has been proven time and time again through DNA evidence.

It seems that as the “law and order” candidate, Mr Trump believes there can be no acknowledgment of past mistakes.

As Vox’s Victoria Massie writes, “by refusing to recognise when the law has wronged citizens, he sets a dangerous message that justice is not necessary to maintain social order”.

This is also the candidate who praised the New York City Police Department’s use of stop-and-frisk policing, a technique that a judge deemed unconstitutional because a disproportionate number of those who were stopped were black and Hispanic.

The data shows that the policy was largely ineffective.

And yet, it’s the main policy Mr Trump cites when asked how he will improve life for black Americans in the US.

On Friday, several members of the Central Park Five went public with statements of their own, condemning Mr Trump’s remarks.

“He’s gotten worse,” Yusef Salaam told Mother Jones. “He believes in everything he’s put out there.”

Wrongfully convicted Central Park jogger rapist Yusef Salaam, shown in 1990Image copyrightAP
Image captionYusef Salaam (shown in 1990), was one of five black or Hispanic youths wrongfully convicted in the racially charged case

As Republicans fled the Trump campaign in droves on Saturday, only SenatorJohn McCain acknowledged Mr Trump’s “outrageous statements about the innocent men in the Central Park Five” case.

Mr McCain used a word for the defendants that Mr Trump never has: “innocent”.

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