When They See Us Review


The phrase “being at a bad place at a bad time” often becomes a reality for some people. Especially, when you are young and desiring to explore your youthfulness. When They See Us is a series that captures the injustices of the criminal justice system. The Exonerated 5 Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, black teenage boys, with other black teenage boys were accused of “gang” raping a female victim in Central Park (NYC). At the beginning of the case, Korey Wise was never a suspect. He had just happened to be with his friend Yusef Salaam to support him with the situation that recently transpired. The police took him in anyway without probable cause. It was unethical due to prosecutors taking in a teenage who was never a suspect. In Korey’s scene prosecutors manipulated him into confessing to a lie about events that occurred that night- saying if he said it, he could go home from being questioned. Due to the lack of evidence the prosecutors had, they began questioning the boys without their knowing of the right to stay quiet until their parent came and physical, mental, verbal assault. Conditions were unbearable considering these men are guilty and still in jail. Not only was he beat by the inmates, but the officers as well. Power was demonstrated forcefully by the DAs. I often wondered if those sorts of disagreements happened and were allowed in jails. The discriminatory acts of roughing the teenagers up and names like “animals” “gang bangers” were crucial to this case. It explored the various steps of injustices many black and brown people suffer daily. The treatment of the Caucasian DAs upon Korey Wise presented an obvious bias between the cop and himself. The cops viewed him as the “othering”. As if he was out of place for being there in the beginning, and his identity played a vital role. There was constant a master-slave dialect that the DAs desired to pursue. The officials knew they had the authority and aspired to abuse it. Using language and words officials knew the teenager was not familiar with to intimidate him and receive information to build a case. The author wanted the readers to be challenged and inspired in the world, I believe. A lot of times we get caught up in our own lives and forget that there are other real-world experiences occurring where black and brown people are being wrongfully convicted at high rates. It vividly sheds light on the work that still awaits to be accomplished in regard to the judicial system and their approaches to similar positions.