Ava DuVernay Calls Out Donald Trump as She Debuts Trailer for Central Park Five Series

Jennifer Drysdale‍
Trump has insisted the five teenagers were guilty, despite their exoneration.

Ava DuVernay is shining a light on the Central Park Five case -- and on President Donald Trump in the process. 

The trailer for the director's four-part miniseries, When They See Us, dropped on Friday, showing her take on the case of five teenagers of color, who were wrongfully accused and convicted of raping a female jogger in New York City in the late '80s. The series will follow Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, starting from the spring of 1989, when the they were first questioned about the incident, until 25 years later, including their 2002 exoneration and their 2014 settlement with the city of New York. 

Evident throughout the trailer is DuVernay's focus on the racist culture surrounding the case at the time -- like when Trump spent $85,000 placing full-page ads in New York City's four daily papers, calling for the return of the death penalty. "Bring back the death penalty! Bring back our police!" reads an ad in the trailer, in capital letters. "Muggers and murderers should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes," Trump wrote at the time, not naming the teenagers, but clearly alluding to their case.

In 2016, Trump controversially stood by his judgement of the teenagers, 14 years after DNA evidence and the confession of a serial rapist proved them innocent. 

"They admitted they were guilty," he said in a statement to CNN in October 2016. "The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous."

False confessions by four out of five of the teenagers were the only real evidence in the case, but as When They See Us alleges, those confessions were coerced by police. Watch the trailer below. 

Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares and Justin Cunningham portray the five teenagers at the center of the story, while Felicity Huffman, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Famke Janssen, Kylie Bunbury and Storm Reid fill out the rest of the ensemble cast.

When They See Us is available to stream on Netflix starting May 31.

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