Netflix and the makers of When They See Us are being sued for defamation over an interrogation technique used in the show.

Netflix and show director Ava DuVernay have been accused for exaggerating the Reid Technique - a controversial method used to question suspects - resulting in the show causing Netflix major damages.

According to a lawsuit, filed by John E Reid and Associates, the conduct seen in the show is not the Reid Technique.

The lawsuit is referring to a particular scene in the last episode of When They See Us when Manhattan assistant district attorney Nancy Ryan and a New York City detective have a conversation.

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Netflix and When They See Us creator Ava DuVernay are accused of misrepresenting the Reid Technique. Photo / Netflix
Netflix and When They See Us creator Ava DuVernay are accused of misrepresenting the Reid Technique. Photo / Netflix

"You squeezed statements out of them after 42 hours of questioning and coercing, without food, bathroom breaks, withholding parental supervision," Ryan's partner says.

"The Reid Technique has been universally rejected. That's truth to you."

Reid and Associates said in the lawsuit that this is a false representation of the method.

They describe that the actual technique is a "structured interview and interrogation process" which does not use intimidation or deny a suspect their rights.

As well as damages and profits, Reid and Associates want the show to be taken off Netflix.

The Reid Technique was founded by former police officer John Reid, in 1974 and has been taught and used in interrogation ever since.

The technique has come under fire since the arrival of DNA evidence. According to the Innocence Project, one-third of prisoners, whose convictions have been overturned through DNA evidence, falsely confessed due to being under pressure or persuaded in an interrogation room.

Joseph Buckley, Reid and Associates president, told Business Insider: "False confessions are caused by investigators stepping out of bounds."

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