City Subpoenas Ken Burns Outtakes to Defend Central Park Five Lawsuit

10.03.12 Andy Cush

The Central Park Five, the newest film from documentarian Ken Burns, focuses on the 1989 Central Park jogger case, a racially-charged trial that wrongfully found five teenaged black men guilty of rape based on what many people believed were coerced confessions. The men who are the subjects of the documentary were exonerated nearly ten years after their conviction and subsequently filed a $50 million federal lawsuit against New York City.

Now, the city is subpoenaing raw footage from Burns’s documentary in hopes to find material that will help them defend the suit, and Burns is not happy, claiming that the city repeatedly shut him down when he requested interviews with officials who were involved in the case. “There is a great deal of disappointment that it came to this, given the fact that we had given so many of the factions in this complicated story many, many opportunities, on a regular basis, to comment,” he said.

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