The prosecutor in the Central Park 5 case,
If you haven’t watched Ava Duvernay’s When They See Us, do that immediately. The story follows five Black and Brown teens, better known as the Central Park Five, that wrongfully convicted of the rape of a white woman in New York City. When They See Us has put a major spotlight on the mishandlings in the case, including Linda Fairstein’s role in the case. She’s faced a ton of public scrutiny which resulted in her publishers dropping her as well as a literary agency. Now, another prosecutor in the case, Elizabeth Lederer, is feeling the heat as she announced she won’t be returning to Columbia Law School as a teacher.
Lederer served as a part-time teacher at Columbia Law School but after When They See Us put a spotlight on her role in convicting the Central Park Five, she’s decided to resign from her position.
“I’ve enjoyed my years teaching at CLS, and the opportunity it has given me to interact with the many fine students who elected to take my classes,” she said in a statement posted by Columbia Law School Dean Law Gillian Lester. “However, 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.”
This comes after Black Law Students Association at CU issued a letter, demanding for her termination.
“The lives of these five boys were forever changed as a result of Lederer’s conduct,” the letter read. “During the investigation, Lederer and her colleagues used harmful, racist tactics, including physical abuse and coercion, to force confessions from the five minors. The case they built was founded on false information and an overwhelming lack of physical evidence. As a result, five boys spent their formative years in prison until the charges were vacated in 2002 after the real perpetrator confessed to the crime and DNA evidence linking him to the crime was discovered.”