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The Truth About Netflix's New Show: When They See Us

Netflix recently produced and released the new short series called When They See Us about the 1989 Central Park jogger case in which four African American boys and one Hispanic boy were charged with the rape and attempted murder of a woman, who was jogging in Central Park.


This case was very high profile at the time. Years later, it was found that the five boys were wrongfully committed of the crime and were accused with assault, robbery, riot, rape, sexual abuse, and attempted murder. They were proven guilty according to the jury. Their sentences ranged from five to fifteen years.


The five boys were Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam. In an interview with Raymond Santana he said, “For so long we didn’t have a voice, but this documentary is giving us our voice back.”


When the  incident occurred in 1989, detectives pointed fingers to these five boys, all teens at the time.The person who specifically thought the crimes that were committed by them was Linda Fairstein who was a former New York City prosecutor, focusing on crimes of violence against women and children. The documentary shows that once she realized she was wrong in the case, she went to outrageous techniques to make the boys seem guilty. 


There are varying opinions on this show. In an article from The Guardian by critic Lucy Mangan, she  said that the documentary, “captures the innocence, in all senses, of children, and the permanence of its loss.” It shows the five innocent boys real feelings.