Culture

Central Park five prosecutor resigns from Columbia after Netflix series

Central Park five prosecutor resigns from Columbia after Netflix series”

The five men of color - Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise and Yusef Salaam - were minors when they were arrested and convicted of raping and beating a white female jogger in Central Park in 1989.

"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.

The Columbia Black Law Students Association sent a letter addressed to the "law school community" on Tuesday in which they demanded the school cut ties with Lederer.

The documentary prompted students to launch a petition calling for the termination of Elizabeth Lederer. They were awarded a $41 million dollar settlement twelve years after their exoneration.

"The lives of these five boys were forever changed as a result of Lederer's conduct", the letter reads.

Columbia's Dean Gillian Lester commented on the situation, telling Bloomberg, "The mini-series has reignited a painful-and vital-national conversation about race, identity, and criminal justice".

A prosecutor in the Central Park Five trial has left her post at Columbia Law School in the latest fallout from the portrayal of the case in a Netflix miniseries.

Lederer's resignation came on the heels of the Columbia's Black Law Students Association criticizing the school's leadership for "inaction" and collecting over 10,000 signatures to get her fired.

The statement calls on the school to also do better with teaching law at the university.

After spending six to 13 years in prison, all five men - dubbed the Central Park Five by the media - were fully exonerated in 2002 when DNA evidence and a confession revealed Matias Reyes as the true and only perpetrator.

'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 hard issues of our time'.

The Netflix series, "When They See Us", was directed by Ava DuVernay and is a fictionalized version of the events surrounding the case. She was the main prosecutor on the case along with Linda Fairstein, who is now a fiction writer.

Fairstein has been the main focus of the backlash from the four-part series, which highlights the case's racist investigation.

Fairstein has since been forced to step off of the boards of Vassar College, Safe Horizons, Gods Love We Deliver and was dropped from her publisher.



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