WASHINGTON – On Wednesday afternoon, in the wake of President Donald Trump's controversial remarks about the Central Park Five, Sen. Kamala Harris called on him to watch the new Netflix miniseries about the wrongly convicted men.
In an op-ed for NBC News THINK, Harris, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination,wrote that "Trump and all Americans should watch Ava DuVernay’s recent miniseries 'When They See Us,' on the Central Park jogger case."
The series is about the case of a group of black and Latino teenagers who had been wrongly convicted of an assault on a white female jogger in Central Park in 1989. Trump spent $85,000 to take out a newspaper ad calling for the teenagers' executions at the time. The teenagers were later exonerated, but Trump has maintained the stance over the past 30 years that the teenagers "admitted their guilt."
He did so again on Tuesday, when a reporter asked whether he should apologize.
"You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt," he said. "If you look at Linda Fairstein and if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should never have settled that case. So we'll leave it at that." Fairstein was the prosecutor in the case.
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Harris, a California Democrat, went on to argue that "Systemic biases and racism cost these boys their childhood. Sensationalized media coverage — including a 1989 full-page ad placed by Trump — made it almost impossible for them to be treated fairly."
She added that "the trial also exposed the dehumanization of Black children and life-threatening consequences — things that still occur today" and then, making an appeal for an overhaul of the juvenile justice system, Harris spelled out her plan to do so.
"We need to change our approach, by sentencing young people more leniently, ending the automatic transfer of children to adult prisons, and eliminating youth solitary confinement. We must treat children like children," she wrote.
Specifically, that meant codifying into law two Supreme Court rulings barring mandatory life sentences for juveniles without parole and finding ways to "extend more leniency to young people accused of crimes."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kamala Harris calls on Trump to watch Netflix miniseries about Central Park Five