Ava DuVernay and Netflix Sued for 'When They See Us' Interrogation Depiction
A police interrogation company fired off a lawsuit against Ava DuVernay and Netflix for a scene in the critically-acclaimed miniseries, When They See Us, based on the infamous Central Park Five case.
John E. Reid & Associates is known for their controversial "Reid Technique" that critics say produce false confessions. The lawsuit filed on Monday states the series doesn't inform viewers about the illegal practices portrayed in the series, like withholding bathroom breaks or interrogation without parental supervision, for example.
"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," the lawsuit states, according to Variety. "Defendants published the statements in 'When They See Us' in an effort to cause a condemnation of the Reid Technique."
NYPD detective Michael Sheehan is accused of utilizing the Reid technique while interrogating the Central Park Five, now known as the Exonerated Five, in the fourth episode of the streaming service's series.
"You squeezed statements out of them after 42 hours of questioning and coercing, without food, bathroom breaks, withholding parental supervision," a character is seen telling Sheehan. "The Reid Technique has been universally rejected."
"I don't even know what the f**king Reid Technique is, OK? I know what I was taught. I know what I was asked to do and I did it," Sheehan shoots back.
The firm states that the method is "specifically designed to do everything possible to protect against a person making a false confession" in a letter titled Clarifying Misinformation about The Reid Technique.
The company is suing the famed director and streaming giant for defamation, claiming the series ruined their reputation. They also want some of the profit from the series and for Netflix to stop streaming the series.
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