RSN Fundraising Banner
Central Park 5 Prosecutor Ousted as Columbia Law Professor After Black Student Protests
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=50985"><span class="small">Dara Sharif, The Root</span></a>   
Saturday, 15 June 2019 08:28

Sharif writes: "Another day, another example of karma coming for folks in the fallout over the wrongful prosecutions of the Central Park Five."

The Black Law Students Association had raised opposition to Lederer's employment beginning some six years ago. (photo: Diane Bondareff/AP)
The Black Law Students Association had raised opposition to Lederer's employment beginning some six years ago. (photo: Diane Bondareff/AP)


Central Park 5 Prosecutor Ousted as Columbia Law Professor After Black Student Protests

By Dara Sharif, The Root

15 June 19

 

nother day, another example of karma coming for folks in the fallout over the wrongful prosecutions of the Central Park Five.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Lederer has quit her part-time gig as a professor at Columbia Law School after renewed calls for her ouster by the Black Law Students Association, the New York Daily News reports.

Three decades ago, Lederer, along with Linda Fairstein, led the wrongful prosecution of a group of five black and brown boys in the rape and beating of a white jogger in New York’s iconic Central Park.

Ava DuVernay’s recently released Netflix docudrama about what happened to those boys-turned-men, When They See Us, has renewed interest in the legal travesty, and a backlash has ensued against some of the key players in the case.

On Wednesday, it was apparently Lederer’s turn.

In a statement, Lederer referenced the docudrama in explaining her decision to resign her position as a part-time lecturer at Columbia Law, the Washington Post reports.

“[...] given the nature of the recent publicity generated by the Netflix portrayal of the Central Park case, it is best for me not to renew my teaching application,” Lederer said, according to the Post.

The Black Law Students Association, referring to Lederer’s actions as “racist,” according to the News, had raised opposition to Lederer’s employment beginning some six years ago. The group said its plea was ignored—except for Columbia deciding to remove references to the Central Park Five case from Lederer’s university bio.

“Columbia Law School should fire Elizabeth Lederer but that is just a start,” read a letter written by the group in which the students also made a broader plea: “The school needs to address the racism in how the law is taught.”

In 1989, the boys who would come to be known as the Central Park Five were vilified in the press as a “wolf pack” of gang rapists who went “wildin’” through the beloved public space and brutalized a twentysomething jogger.

The boys were convicted and spent the rest of their childhoods in prison before a confession and DNA evidence proved what many of the boys’ supporters had long known: They were innocent.

The now grown men’s convictions were overturned in 2002, and in 2014, the city of New York paid out $41 million to settle their civil rights lawsuits, as the New York Times notes.

Lederer’s resignation was the latest example of fallout from the renewed interest in the case following the release of When They See Us.

Last week, her prosecutorial partner, Fairstein, who’d become a bestselling author in the decades since the infamous case, was dropped by a publisher.

The dean of Columbia Law School told Bloomberg News the school was committed to encouraging “important” discussion about “difficult issues,” as the News reports:

“The mini-series has reignited a painful—and vital—national conversation about race, identity, and criminal justice. I am deeply committed to fostering a learning environment that furthers this important and ongoing dialogue, one that draws upon the lived experiences of all members of our community and actively confronts the most difficult issues of our time,” Dean Gillian Lester told Bloomberg News.
Email This Page

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+6 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-06-15 16:31
Trump needs to apologize too.
 
 
0 # davehaze 2019-06-16 02:13
This is not about Trump, G-D it. Stop mentioning that a-hole every topic. This is about the rant racism and bigotry of most New Yorkers. I know because i lived there for 45 years and consider it the most racist city in the country.

You want to introduce politics? NYC is also majority Democrats. Shameful.
 
 
+1 # DongiC 2019-06-16 05:46
Didn't Donald Trump take out some gigantic newspaper ad declaring the guilt of these unfortunate black and brown boys? He should be made to pay for his racism by a resounding defeat in the elections of 20/20. It is time for this reprobate to pay for his many sins.
 
 
+2 # Texas Aggie 2019-06-16 06:46
What makes her situation even more untenable is that after the five were exonerated, she defended her actions by claiming that "They were doing something." This woman has no place in a civilized society.