May 31, 2024

Highlights Long Arc of Justice that Former TV Personality Is Convicted in Same Building as Exonerated 5 More Than 35 Years After He Called for Their Execution

New York, NY (May 31, 2024) – Rev. Al Sharpton, the Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), issued the following statement on the conviction of Donald Trump over hush money payments the former president made to an adult film star. The verdict came after a marathon trial at Manhattan Criminal Court, the same venue in which the Exonerated 5 was wrongfully convicted in 1990.

“I couldn’t help but think throughout this trial of Donald Trump sitting through days of testimony in Manhattan Criminal Court. This is the same building that Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise all passed into, day after day, as they endured a show trial for a crime they did not commit. These children had to hear vitriol from people whose anger was incited by a man who spent a small fortune on full-page ads calling for their execution. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Donald Trump is the criminal, and those five men are exonerated. I’m reminded of Dr. King’s proverb that the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.

What happens next is crucial. We cannot allow the hate speech that Donald Trump spewed in 1989, 2016, or 2024 to be mimicked by those who have stood against his actions. A lot will be said about the first conviction of a former president in our nearly 250-year history. The discourse will carry on for weeks, months, and years. We cannot allow it to be guided by sore winners who gloat over this conviction, when it only stands to ignite the Donald Trumps all over this nation who still want to take us back to the pre-1964 era. Cheering this conviction with malice will only empower those who committed violence on January 6th to do it on May 31st. Instead, celebrate by casting votes for leaders who will protect democracy – not who want to kill it.”

About National Action Network (NAN)
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender.

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