As reported by The New York Times on Tuesday, October 2, the City of New York is subpoenaing outtakes and extra footage from the documentary The Central Park Five on the grounds of obtaining evidence for a federal lawsuit filed by the subjects in the film. The film, which follows the lives of five men who were convicted and later acquitted of a racially-charged rape back in 1989, was an effort by the filmmakers to hopefully push the city to solve the case. The men accused in the trial are seeking compensation of $50 million each for their wrongful conviction and subsequent hardships the whole endeavor has cost them.
Lawyers for the City of New York, insistent on seeing all of the footage before the film is released to public, may have done too little too late—according to Ken Burns, one of the film's three directors alongside David McMahon and Burns' daughter Sarah, this subpoena comes after after officials in the City of New York had spent years ignoring his requests for interviews. The filmmakers hoped that these interviews with law enforcement officials, which he never obtained, might help explain the actions of those who were involved in the prosecution.
The IDA will follow up on this story as more information is released to the public. Please take the time to read the whole story and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below. Please also read the full statement from Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon on the subpoena.