Ava DuVernay‘s “When They See Us” has successfully canceled the career of Linda Fairstein, who has been in a frenzy for days after she has been dropped by or resigned from several companies. However, as we all know, it was a corrupt and complicit legal system that stole the innocence of Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise.
Another person who locked up the five children was Elizabeth Lederer, the lead district attorney on the case. She was brilliantly played by Vera Farmiga in the new Netflix miniseries.
According to Vulture, Elizabeth Lederer still works for the New York County DA’s office and has been employed there for 40 years. But she is also a lecturer at Columbia University. The miniseries has led to demands for her to be terminated, but Columbia University has remained silent.
Now, the Columbia Black Law Students Association has called for the school to fire Lederer.
“Since Lederer’s integral role in the case has received a national spotlight, there have been multiple efforts urging Columbia Law School to take action,” a letter from the group read in part. “In 2013 a petition was circulated, which gained thousands of signatures and demanded the removal of Lederer. Instead of taking decisive action to address the issue, Columbia Law School simply removed the Central Park jogger case from Lederer’s online bio.”
The letter continued: “Now, with the release of Ava Duvernay’s When They See Us on Netflix, Columbia’s inaction on this subject shows a disconnect between the values Columbia purports and the actions the Law School takes. Another petition, circulated by our brothers, sisters, and non-binary friends at Columbia University Black Students’ Organization, has gained thousands of signatures and again demands for the removal of Elizabeth Lederer.”
They were also calling for the school to include anti-racism in its curriculum and pedagogy. See the letter in full below:
Yep, it’s time for Lederer to feel the heat, too. Furthermore, if she is still employed at the New York County DA’s office, how many other lives has she ruined in those many decades?
In 2002, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise were exonerated by the New York State Supreme Court only because a fellow inmate came forward to confess — even though there was never any DNA evidence linking them to the crime. Linda Fairstein and even our current president still insist they are guilty.
Watch the powerful trailer for “When They See Us” below, which is available on Netflix.