Netflix released the first full trailer for director Ava DuVernay’s four-part drama series about the Central Park Five on Friday, 30 years after a white jogger was raped in New York City and five black and Latino teens were falsely accused of the crime.
The heart-pounding trailer for “When They See Us” depicts the police and prosecutors who framed the teenagers for the crime despite a dearth of evidence. The series will also explore the aftermath of the teens’ false convictions.
In 2002, DNA evidence exonerated the five boys — Antron McCray, Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana — after each had already served years of prison time. In 2014, a federal judge approved a $41 million settlement for the men and their families.
“In 2019, our series gives the five men a platform to finally raise their voices and tell their full stories,” DuVernay said in March, explaining that she had named the series “When They See Us” to humanize the men.
“The story you know is the lie they told you,” the trailer’s tagline reads.
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker previously explored the topic as part of her 2016 documentary “13th,” which catalogs the reasons behind the mass incarceration of black and Latino men, and how white politicians, including President Donald Trump, have wielded racism as a political tool. As a New York real estate mogul, Trump took out a full-page newspaper ad that advocated reinstating the death penalty for the Central Park Five.
That ad appears briefly in the trailer, which can be seen above.
“When They See Us” premieres May 31 on Netflix.