Central Park Five prosecutor resigns from Columbia amid Netflix backlash

The assistant district attorney who prosecuted the now-exonerated Central Park Five said on Wednesday that she will leave her post as a part-time lecturer at Columbia Law School due to backlash over a Netflix series on the case called “When They See Us.”

Elizabeth Lederer — who still serves as a prosecutor for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office — said in a letter to faculty and students that she will not seek reappointment after negative reaction over her portrayal in the show.

“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,” Lederer said in the letter.

“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.”
The dean of the school added that the mini-series “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,” the law school dean, Gillian Lester, wrote.

The departure takes place just days after crime novelist Linda Fairstein, a former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor also portrayed in the series, was dropped by her publisher.

Source: NY Post.

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