A federal judge blocked New York City from getting raw footage produced by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Yahoo! News reported Wednesday. The blocked footage was research for a new film Burns is producing on the five exonerated men in the the Central Park jogger rape case.
Judge Ronald L. Ellis ruled that Burns’s "precious rights of freedom of speech and the press" superseded any interest New York City had in obtaining the outtakes from the Ken Burns movie, "The Central Park Five."
The demand for the raw footage was the result of a $250 million federal lawsuit by the exonerated men against New York City.
The Central Park jogger rape case happened in 1989. A woman was attacked while jogging, severely beaten and raped. The five men initially arrested and jailed for the crime were exonerated after a main already in jail confessed. DNA evidence did not support the guilt of the men.
New York City attorney Celeste Koeleveld argued, "While journalistic privilege under the law is very important, we firmly believe it did not apply here. This film is a one-sided advocacy piece that depicts the plaintiffs' version of events as undisputed fact. It is our view that we should be able to view the complete interviews, not just those portions that the filmmakers chose to include," the lawyer said in a statement.”
The unedited footage that Burns wanted blocked from the city, will stay blocked.
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