Police interrogation firm sues Ava DuVernay

Director Ava DuVernay, center, with the Central Park 5: Raymond Santana, from left, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, Anthony McCray and Yuesf Salaam, attend the world premiere of "When They See Us," at the Apollo Theater on Monday, May 20, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Donald Traill/Invision/AP)

Ava DuVernays brilliant “When They See Us” caused  many people to look back at the trash behavior of the people who ruined the childhood of five Black children. Elizabeth Lederer, the lead district attorney on the case, resigned from Columbia University earlier this year. In addition, Linda Fairstein, the original prosecutor on the case, was dropped from her publisher and forced to leave several boards.  Nonetheless, DuVeray and Netflix are now being sued by a a police interrogation firm.

TMZ reports, John E. Reid and Associates are  claiming in a lawsuit that “When They See Us” defamed them “by saying his method was used to squeeze statements out” of the children. The lawsuit claims the filmmakers “fabricated a scene designed to broadcast to the audience a conversation they made up that included false statements as to the Reid Technique.”

The main scene being addressed is from episode 4 where the prosecution staffer says to the 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.”

According to docs, John E. Reid and Associates  are whining that the method is not “universally rejected.” They are asked for a retraction in July and Netflix refused so they are suing for “a chunk of the profits, and other damages.”

But here is the clincher — John E. Reid has been dead since 1982. Variety explains, “John E. Reid, a former Chicago police officer, wrote a textbook on police interrogation. He died in 1982, but his company continues to offer training in the Reid Technique. The company also licensed its method to Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, a firm run by two former John E. Reid and Associates employees. For decades, Wicklander-Zulawski offered a competing version of the Reid Technique, but in 2017 the firm announced that it had abandoned the method, citing the risk of false confessions arising from the misuse of the approach.”

In 2002, Kevin RichardsonRaymond SantanaAntron McCrayYusef Salaam and Korey Wise exonerated by the New York State Supreme Court only because a fellow inmate came forward to confess — even though there was never any DNA evidence linking them to assaulting a woman in Central Park back in April of 1989.