Ava DuVernay & Netflix Sued Over “When They See Us” By Police Interrogation Firm
Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us took America by storm when it hit Netflix earlier this year, opening eyes to the real story of The Central Park 5. The series was released to a lot of social media praise and even brought heat to those who had a hand in all of the wrong-doing reenacted in the film.
One of the main key focuses of the film is how the police forced and manipulated all the young men at the time to admit to something they didn’t actually do. Most would think that act was illegal, but to no one’s surprise, the NYPD had a method they had been taught to use for that very purpose. This method is called the “Reid Technique,” which was coined and created back in the 1940’s by the police interrogation firm John E. Reid and Associates.
According to Variety, the firm is in their feelings about how their technique was displayed throughout the episodes of When They See Us. Apparently, they feel like an exchange between some characters in episode four of the series “mischaracterizes” the technique.
“You squeezed statements out of them after 42 hours of questioning and coercing, without food, bathroom breaks, withholding parental supervision,” the character states. “The Reid Technique has been universally rejected.”
Sheehan replies: “I don’t even know what the f—ing Reid Technique is, OK? I know what I was taught. I know what I was asked to do and I did it.”
This lawsuit also alleges that Netflix and DuVernay falsely stated that the method had been “universally rejected.” Of course, the firm is putting on their own Emmy-worthy acting by saying the show “hurts its image and reputation”. Not only do they want all the money they can get, but they also want Netflix to not air the film in its original form and to be awarded punitive damages including a percentage of the profits from the film.
The wildest part of this may just be that some police stations still use the method, while former employees of the firm who ventured off and once licensed the method stopped back in 2017, reportedly due to the amount of false confessions due to misuse.
You can read the full lawsuit details here.