As the backlash spurred by Ava DuVernay’s powerful Netflix series, When They See Us, continues to impact Linda Fairstein, it has now started to reach Elizabeth Lederer.
Portrayed by Vera Farmiga in the critically acclaimed project, Lederer was an assistant district attorney assigned as one of the prosecutors on the Central Park Jogger case by Linda Fairstein (played Felicity Huffman in When They See Us). The case resulted in the wrongful prosecution and incarceration of Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam, then branded by the media as the Central Park Five.
In the series, she is depicted as knowing the implications of pursuing convictions against the teens, despite not having proper evidence. When They See Us illustrates that despite her hesitations, she goes along with the false theory that the five boys committed the assault in Central Park.
After a group of Black students called for her to step down, Lederer has resigned from Columbia Law School, where she was a part-time professor.
New statement released from the @ColumbiaLaw Black Law Students Association
Students call for #CentralPark5 prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer to be fired from her Lecturer in Law position
Also call on the law school to center anti-racism in its curriculum and pedagogy pic.twitter.com/U8By81KWBB
— Barred and Boujee (@AudreLawdAMercy) June 11, 2019
“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,” said the school’s dean, Gillian Lester, to Bloomberg News.
The powerful Netflix miniseries, When They See Us is now streaming.