Detroit Attorney Who Represented Central Park Five Reflects on Case

Sandra Svoboda

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is running as a so-called “law and order” candidate, promising Americans he will make them safer and more secure if he is president.

Trump’s aggressive stance on maintaining law and order is not new to this campaign.

In the 1980s he took out a full-page ad in four major newspapers in New York City with “Bring back the death penalty. Bring back our police!” splayed across the top. The ad was placed after a rape in Central Park that horrified residents of that city and national audiences at the time.

Five young men — known as the Central Park Five — were convicted of the crime, after they made false confessions. Years later, they were exonerated based on DNA evidence. The Central Park Five later sued for wrongful conviction.

Detroit attorney Bill Goodman was one of the lawyers who assisted with that suit. He recently spoke with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson about the details of the case, and the role the media played in the story.

The ad (from Trump) was sensational,” says Goodman. “And I think it fueled another element of racism… of these children out in the park ‘wilding’… which sounds like animals and I think really fuels and is based on nothing other than racism.”

Click on the audio player above to hear more of the conversation.

Image credit: Sandra Svoboda

This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

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Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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