Ava DuVernay & Netflix Sued By Police Interrogation Firm Over 'When They See Us'
The firm has filed a defamation suit against DuVernay and the content streaming service.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the complaint was filed on Monday in Illinois federal court by John E. Reid and Associates, Inc. Reid is a former police officer turned consultant who created an interrogation technique that he’s been teaching since 1974.
Per the Reporter:
In the final episode of the series, a discussion ensues between Manhattan assistant D.A. Nancy Ryan and a New York City detective who was involved in eliciting the confessions of the Central Park Five. During this conversation, Ryan’s partner says, “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.”
Reid’s 41-page complaint not only takes issue with the notion that the Reid Technique has been universally rejected, but how it’s referenced in the series which is centered on the Central Park Jogger case.
“The conduct described is not the Reid Technique,” the lawsuit states. “…The program falsely represents that squeezing and coercing statements from juvenile subjects after long hours of questioning without food, bathroom breaks or parental supervision is synonymous with the Reid Technique.”
However, it’s worth noting that the company itself is not referenced at any point throughout the series.
In a separate report from Deadline, the plaintiffs want unspecified widespread damages and profits from DuVernay and Netflix. They also want When They See Us taken off Netflix globally until the offending line is omitted or changed.
“At nearly all of its seminars and programs, Reid now fields questions and negative feedback regarding When They See Us and its criticism of the Reid Technique,” the complaint states. “Accordingly, Reid has now dedicated a regular section of its training seminars and programs to addressing When They See Us and the ‘Central Park Jogger’ case.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter