Based on true events of on 19 April 1989, a brutal rape occurred in Central Park, which saw five teens wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit. The series spans 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014. When They See Us highlights the different phases of the criminal justice system and dissects how they can get it wrong. In this case, it altered and took away the innocence of five teens. Sadly, the American criminal justice system today is still unequal for black men.


The below behind-the-scenes video featuring interviews with The Exonerated Five (Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Jr., Korey Wise) and Ava DuVernay, among others.

Behind The Scenes with When They See Us 

Ava DuVernay behind the scene directing images: