- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The creators of the Netflix biopic “When They See Us” — a dramatic depiction of the Central Park 5 case — are facing a defamation lawsuit for allegedly misrepresenting an interrogation method.

Netflix, the show’s director Ava DuVernay and her production company Array Alliance Inc. are all named in a lawsuit filed Monday by John E. Reid and Associates Inc., who claim the conduct named in the show “is not the Reid Technique” and has resulted in damages.

The show — which illustrates how the 1989 rape of a woman in Central Park led to the wrongful convictions of five young black men — depicts a conversation between the Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Nancy Ryan and a New York detective.

“You squeezed statements out of them after 42 hours of questioning and coercing, without food, bathroom breaks, withholding parental supervision,” the detective says. “The Reid Technique has been universally rejected. That’s truth to you.”

The lawsuit claims this “falsely represents” the Reid Technique, an interrogation method developed by John Reid, a former police officer, in 1974 and has since been taught to a reported 500,000 individuals.



The lawsuit claims the technique is a “structured interview and interrogation process” that does not include “denying a subject any rights, conducting excessively long interrogations, and denying a subject any physical needs.”

“Reid also urges that extreme caution and care be taken when interviewing or interrogating juveniles,” they added. “Defendant publications and depictions in Episode Four … falsely disparage and defame Reid”

The lawsuit wants the show to be made unavailable to stream until the line is removed from the show along with other damages.

Netflix and Ms. DuVernay did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

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