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American Gangster Now American Lawsuit

Oct. 28 2008, Published 3:41 p.m. ET

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Claiming libel, a retired New York police officer and a Drug Enforcement Agency have sued the magazine that published the story that was the basis for the 2007 Denzel Washington film American Gangster.

The article, "The Return of Superfly," was published in New York magazine in 2000. It maintained that a dozen law enforcement agents took part in 1975 raid on a drug lords home in Teaneck, New Jersey—and stole millions of dollars collected in that raid.

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In their complaint—filed in the Supreme Court of New York—former NYPD officer James Hafener and retired DEA agent Richard Crawford claim that druglord Frank Lucas lied about the theft and that the authors of the article should have known that. They're angry because the story was repeated in the film, in which Denzel played Lucas.

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