Ex-police sue over movie depiction in ‘American Gangster’

 

A group of retired US drug enforcement officers have sued a production firm, saying the hit film American Gangster falsely made them out to be villains.

The NBC Universal film tells the story of a New York heroin trafficker, played by Denzel Washington.

The lawsuit claims it defamed hundreds of Drug Enforcement Agency agents and New York City police officers by claiming at the end that trafficker Frank Lucas' collaboration with prosecutors "led to the convictions of three quarters of New York City's Drug Enforcement Agency."

Lucas became a government informant after his conviction in 1975, and his tips led to the prosecutions of several fellow drug dealers.

According to the lawsuit, no DEA agents or New York City police officers were ever convicted as a result of tips provided by Lucas.

"This is absolutely off the wall," said Dominic Amorosa, who was a prosecutor in the federal case against Lucas in 1975 and now represents the DEA agents.

He said the filmmakers had unfairly blackened the reputation of agents who risked their lives to put away Lucas and other drug criminals in the 1970s and 1980s.

A Universal Pictures spokesman, Michael Moses, said in a written statement that the lawsuit is "entirely without merit".

A DEA spokesman in Washington, Garrison Courtney, confirmed that none of its agents were ever charged with wrongdoing in the case. New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said he also was not aware of any NYPD officers ever prosecuted in connection with Lucas.

Former DEA agents Jack Toal, Gregory Korniloff and Louis Diaz filed the class action suit on behalf of themselves and 400 other agents who worked in the city between 1973 and 1985. They asked for at least £25million in punitive damages.


News


Powered by WP Robot