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Netflix Gets Sued Over Central Park Five Series

Creator of Reid Technique says interrogation method was maligned in 'When They See Us'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2019 12:42 PM CDT
This image released by Netflix shows a scene from "When They See Us."   (Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix via AP)

(Newser) – A company that trains the US military and FBI on interrogations is suing Netflix, claiming its Emmy-winning docuseries on the Central Park Five misrepresents an interrogation technique. John E. Reid and Associates, founded by a former police officer who pioneered the interrogation approach known as the Reid Technique, is demanding damages and a portion of profits from Ava DuVernay's When They See Us, in addition to requesting that the four-episode series be pulled from Netflix until it's altered, per the Hollywood Reporter. At issue is a scene in the final episode, in which a district attorney's office employee tells a New York City detective that the Reid Technique has been "universally rejected."

The employee says the method was applied to five black men wrongly convicted of the 1989 rape of a jogger during "42 hours of questioning and coercing, without food, bathroom breaks, withholding parental supervision," per the BBC. But "the conduct described is not the Reid Technique," which involves no coercion, intimidation, or denial of rights, reads the lawsuit filed Monday in Illinois federal court. What's more, it urges "extreme care" toward younger suspects, per the lawsuit. "Defendants intended to incite an audience reaction against Reid," it adds, reports Fox News. Netflix hasn't commented other than to say a request for a retraction and edits was previously rejected, per the Reporter. (A case prosecutor says the series is "full of distortions.")

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