Ava DuVernay's 'When They See Us' trailer released 30 years after Central Park jogger was raped

The mini-series tells the story of five New York City teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of the crime.
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Aunjanue Ellis and Ethan Herisse in "When They See Us" on Netflix.Atsushi Nishijima / Netflix

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By Erin E. Evans

Netflix released the full trailer Friday for Ava DuVernay's upcoming project, "When They See Us," a four-part limited series on the lives of five New York City teenagers who were wrongfully accused and later convicted of a 1989 Central Park rape.

The trailer was released 30 years to the date of the brutal attack on the woman in Central Park. "When They See Us" spans 25 years and follows the lives of Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise — who became known as the Central Park Five.

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They ranged in ages from 14-16 when they were first questioned by police. They would later reach a settlement with New York City in 2014 after their convictions were overturned.

"The story you know is the lie that police, prosecutors and Donald Trump told you," DuVernay tweeted Friday. "'When They See Us' is the story of the boys from their eyes and their hearts."

The series stars Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Vera Farmiga and Joshua Jackson. Actors Asante Blackk, Justin Cunningham, Caleel Harris, Jovan Adepo, Ethan Herisse, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares and Marquis Rodriguez portray the real-life men of the Central Park Five throughout the series. Actor Jharrel Jerome portrays both the younger and older version of one of the wrongfully convicted boys Korey Wise. DuVernay directed and co-wrote all four episodes.

In March, DuVernay said that she intentionally didn't refer to the "Central Park Five" moniker in the title of the limited series.

“Korey, Anton, Raymond, Kevin and Yusef also tell the story of many young people of color unjustly ensnared in the criminal justice system,” DuVernay said in a statement. “We wanted to reflect this perspective in our title, embracing the humanity of the men and not their politicized moniker.”

"When They See Us" is slated to be released May 31.

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