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Ava Duvernay’s When They See Us docu-series shook the world up when it was released as it told the story of five African-American and Hispanic boys who were wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for a 1989 sexual assault.
Ava and Netflix is being sued for defamation.
On Monday, (October 14th), a complaint was filed in an Illinois federal court by John E. Reid and Associates, Inc. Although Reid was not featured in the movie, the former police officer is suing because of one of the last scenes in the four-part docuseries.
Reportedly, the lawsuit comes from the following conversation that took place between Manhattan Assistant D.A. Nancy Ryan and a New York City Detective.
“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. That’s truth to you.”
The “Reid Technique” is a known as a controversial police interrogation method that “produces false confessions.”
“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.”
In the fourth episode of the series, NYPD detective Michael Sheehan is accused of using the Reid technique to draw out a false confession from the Exonerated Five.
According to reports, In a letter titled Clarifying Misinformation about The Reid Technique, the firm states that the method is “specifically designed to do everything possible to protect against a person making a false confession.”
Netflix has yet to comment on this lawsuit.