Ava DuVernay’s mini series “When They See Us” was nominated for 16 Emmys, including the Outstanding Limited Series category. The drama, which is available on Netflix, tells the story of the wrongful rape and assault convictions of five black teenagers in 1989. The boys aged 14 to 16 became known as the Central Park Five during the course of a sensational trial. In 2002, the convictions of Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise were overturned after the actual rapist confessed to the crime.
“When They See Us” is a four-part series that depicts how the boys were picked up at Central Park and how the boys were interrogated and coerced into admitting to a crime they didn’t know anything about. As the series progresses, DuVernay explores the details of the trial, how the prosecution’s case lacked any physical evidence that the boys were involved in the crime and how their case hinged upon the false confessions. After the trial, “When They See Us” examines each of the five boys incarcerations and how they adjusted to life after prison. The series ends with the overturning of their convictions more than a decade after their imprisonment.