Ava DuVernay sent chills and heartwarming emotions for viewers worldwide when she presented “Central Park Five” who are now known as the “Exonerated Five” who were wrong convicted for a crime in the late 1980’s. The teenagers at the time had the future President Trump wanting society to hate them before they received any due process from the legal system.
30 years later, people are outraged at the treatment the young boys endured by the legal and prison system. Netflix allowed millions of people all over the world to watch a dramatization of the events which earned the series two Emmy Awards.
However, John E. Reid and Associates, the company that created the Reid Technique of interrogation mentioned in the miniseries, is suing Ava and Netflix for defamation.
According to Variety, the Reid Technique was crafted back in the 1940s and is the most popular method of interrogation in the world. After being mentioned in When They See Us, the company claims that its technique is now being criticized as unethical and a system of coercion.
The scene in question that has raised the lawsuit stems from the following conversation with the kids in jail:
“You squeezed statements out of them after 42 hours of questioning and coercing, without food, bathroom breaks, withholding parental supervision. The Reid Technique has been universally rejected.” The next character replies, “I don’t even know what the f*cking Reid Technique is, OK? I know what I was taught. I know what I was asked to do and I did it.”
“Defendants intended to incite an audience reaction against Reid for what occurred in the Central Park Jogger Case and for the coercive interrogation tactics that continue to be used today,” John E. Reid and Associates state in the lawsuit. “Defendants published the statements in ‘When They See Us’ in an effort to cause a condemnation of the Reid Technique.” They’re asking for damages, for Netflix’s profits to be paid to the company, and for the court to bar the series from being distributed.