The city agreed to award the Central Park Five a $40 million settlement this week, decades after the five men were wrongfully convicted of attacking a jogger in 1989. And though $40 million's certainly a hefty chunk of change, it's far less than the $250 million the plaintiffs are seeking through a civil-rights suit against the city—not to mention the fact that the five men were falsely imprisoned as teenagers for years. Not that any of that appeals to human toupée Donald Trump, who took time off from terrorizing journalists to write a Daily News op-ed calling the settlement a "disgrace."
Trump, who took out ads calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty right after the 1989 attack, called the proposed settlement "politics at its lowest and worst form" in his piece today. "The justice system has a lot to answer for, as does the City of New York regarding this very mishandled disaster. Information was being leaked to newspapers by someone on the case from the beginning, and the blunders were frequent and obvious," he wrote, railing against what the settlement could potentially cost taxpayers. And it doesn't look like he thinks much of the Central Park Five, either, adding: "These young men do not exactly have the pasts of angels."
Of course, as the Daily News notes in its ostensible companion piece to the Trump op-ed—one that slams Trump and calls the op-ed "bluster,"—all five men were exonerated by DNA evidence after felon Matias Reyes confessed to the violent rape, and he insists he acted alone. Four of the men, who were 14 to 16 years old when they were convicted, served nearly six years in prison; a fifth served 13 years. "Thank God it’s over,” Raymond Santana, Sr., whose son Raymond Santana, Jr., was one of the five, told the tabloid. “Forget about the money. I’m just happy to take it out of my mind. It’s the beginning of life again, everything’s over, forget about all the pain."
It's not quite over—Comptroller Scott Stringer will review the settlement before approving it.