Netflix has dropped a stylish, quick-moving trailer of the long awaited Ava DuVernay series on the Central Park 5 — the case of five New York Black and Latino teens wrongfully convicted in 1989 for raping a white female jogger.
The nearly three-minute video preview set to melancholy music splices together pieces of scenes from the courtroom, teens expressing sadness and fear at their fates, protests and broken-hearted parents.
Friday marks the 30th anniversary of the attack and rape of a female jogger in New York City’s Central Park.
The four-part “When They See Us” debuts May 31st and features Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Felicity Huffman (who has recently been under fire in the higher education scandal) John Leguizamo and Adepero Oduye, among others. It chronicles the experiences of Harlem teens Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise beginning in 1989, when they were first questioned about the incident to their 2002 exoneration to the settlement that they reached with the city of New York in 2014, according to The Wrap.
For months, residents of Manhattan have posted DuVernay sightings to social media as the award-winning director and producer behind “Selma,” “13th,” and “Queen Sugar” filmed scenes from the series on the city streets and in buildings.
DuVernay directed, co-wrote and directed the series. Executive producers include Oprah Winfrey, representing Harpo Films, and Robert DeNiro, representing Tribeca Productions.
The case evolved on the night of April 19, 1989, when Trisha Meili decided to go for a jog in Central Park. She was found several hours later in a ravine, beaten and raped. On the night that Meili went for her run, a group of more than 30 teens was alleged to have assaulted other joggers and thrown rocks at bicyclists, according to AM New York.
The five teens all confessed but their lawyers insisted they were coerced into the confessions during hours of interrogations. It became a high profile case with much of New York turning against them, using the accusations as an example of youth “wilding’ or randomly attacking innocent people. Then-real estate mogul Donald Trump even took out a full page ad in the New York Times calling for the execution of the five teens.
In 2002, convicted murderer and rapist Matias Reyes claimed sole responsibility for the attack, triggering the exoneration of each of them, who had reached adulthood by that point and had served their time.