Ava DuVernay And Netflix Sued By Police Interrogation Firm Over “When They See Us”

767 views | Peter Phillips | October 15, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: (L-R) Antron McCay, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Ava DuVernay, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam attend the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

It’s only been a few months, but audiences are still digesting Ava DuVernay’s Netflix masterpiece, “When They See Us.” After multiple Emmy nominations and a well-deserved win by its star Jharrel Jerome, the limited series is still inspiring fans to watch it again and again. Unfortunately, DuVernay and Netflix have found themselves in the middle of a lawsuit regarding the controversial interrogation scene.

@Variety reports, the company behind a controversial police interrogation technique featured in “When They See Us” has filed a federal lawsuit against both Ava DuVernay and Netflix, claiming that it was defamed in the award-winning limited series based on the case of the Central Park Five. John E. Reid and Associates developed the featured Reid Technique for police interrogations back in the 1940s, continuing to offer training materials and courses to law enforcement professionals since then.

According to the company, the Reid Technique is the most widely used interrogation method by police agencies all over the world. However, critics have voiced concerns that its approach can result in false confessions—which is exactly what happened in the Central Park Five case.

The Reid Technique is mentioned in the last episode of “When They See Us,” when a character confronts NYPD detective Michael Sheehan alleging that he was coerced into a confession out of the five original defendants. The lawsuit claims the scene incorrectly characterizes the specifics of the Reid Technique—which formally states it doesn’t involve coercion, and also alleges that it is false to assert that the technique has been “universally rejected,” as it was stated in the series.

The lawsuit states:

“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. Defendants published the statements in “When They See Us” in an effort to cause a condemnation of the Reid Technique.”

The suit further alleges that the limited series has damaged the company’s reputation, and is seeking actual and punitive damages, an injunction barring Netflix from distributing the series in its current form, and a disgorgement of Netflix’s profits from the show.

Source: The Shade Room

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