When They See Us: the Netflix miniseries to watch now
On April 19, 1989, a woman jogging in Central Park in New York was attacked and left dying in the park. That night, 5 Harlem boys (4 African Americans and one Hispanic) were arrested for the crime and, after two trials, wrongfully convicted. This is the story narrated in the miniseries When They See Us in which Ava DuVernay tells the events firmly and examines the theme of racial injustice as he had already done with 13th, his documentary about the 2016 Oscar-nominated mass incarceration.
Once arrested, the five young men, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise and Raymond Santana, were interrogated separately, forced to confess and then tried in two groups. Four of them were found guilty of rape and sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed for minors. One, Korey Wise, who was 16 at the time of the crime, was detained in adult facilities.
In 2002, thanks to the confession of the real assailant, Matias Reyes, and DNA tests, the sentences of the five boys, now men, were canceled and the state withdrew all the charges.
Just a month after the release, the miniseries has brought about important changes: after the protests that rekindled, the two prosecutors who dealt with the case, Linda Fairstein and Elizabeth Lederer, resigned from their positions respectively at Vassar College and Columbia Law School.