After the attack in New York City that killed eight, Donald Trump has taken to the internet to shout for the death penalty. To many New Yorkers, Trump's comments are tearing open old wounds for the city. He's done this before, just without the Twitter feed.
First, Trump took back his idea to send the suspect to Guantanamo.
Then he went caps-lock for capital punishment.
The suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, has been charged with federal terrorism offenses, according to CNN. Although capital punishment is abolished in New York, Politico reports that Saipov could face the death penalty. For those who've lived in the city for 30 years, Trump's eagerness to shout for that penalty is an eerie callback. In 1989, he infamously took out an ad in the New York Daily News that looks just like the '80s version of his Twitter feed. You can see the ad here.
In all capital, large black print, Trump published:
BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!
Back then, Trump was calling for the execution of "five schoolchildren," as Jamil Smith of MTV put it. That was in an op-ed last year that explained how Trump's "1989 condemnation" was still relevant today.
"None of the 'Central Park Five,'" accused of raping and assaulting an investment banker in Central Park, "were older than 16," he wrote. "All of them were black or Latino. Under police coercion, they'd confessed to the brutal rape and assault...."
12-years-later, all five were exonerated by DNA evidence.
The issues of race and punishment that Trump pushed then are fully on display now, as New Yorkers and Americans across the country draw the lines between Trump's call for harsh punishment and the race of the terror suspect.
According to Politico and common sense: "It is extremely unusual for a sitting president to weigh in on an ongoing criminal trial process, let alone recommend capital punishment, and could potentially complicate efforts to prosecute Saipov."