Movie-Limited Series Review: When They See Us

Eliana Amoh, Minority Beat Reporter

Imagine staying in jail for over 11 years for a crime that you didn’t commit. Well, Korey Wise did. He along with four other teenage boys were convicted of raping and assaulting of a white female jogger in New York’s Central Park in 1990.
Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise, and Raymond Santana were all convicted and sent to trial. There was no evidence but they got convicted due to cohesion by the police.
As these boys were in the interrogation rooms, they were threatened, criticized, and manipulated. These boys were coerced into making up what the police detectives wanted them to say happened leading the boys to make false statements which led to all of them being convicted of the rape. The police also interrogated them without a parent present which put more pressure on them.
It also didn’t help that they were African American and Hispanic. Most of New York and the world pushed the statement that these boys were guilty even though barely any evidence was present. All the boys were sentenced to maximum terms for juveniles except for Korey Wise who was treated as an adult in the system and served his time in an adult prison.
“When They See Us” portrays the true life story of these five young men (while using Ava DuVernay’s artistic license) and the pain they had to go through before they were finally released when Matias Reyes, in 2002, confessed to the crime. This confession was a major event because it truly proved that the boys were innocent to the whole world and that the legal system is biased.
A night of “wilding” in Central Park ruined the lives of these non-white youths because of a biased legal system. This movie well relates to students because the boys were also teenagers when they were convicted. Even though this move was made in 2019, it still applies to today as the fight for justice still prevails today.