"During the investigation, Lederer and her colleagues used harmful, racist tactics, including physical abuse and coercion, to force confessions from the five minors".
From acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the four-part limited series spans 25 years - from the arrest and wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five to their exoneration and the settlement reached in 2014.
Recognizing the lack of institutional support, Lederer has given the activists a win and told the law school she won't seek reappointment to the part-time position, Bloomberg News reports.
In a statement, Lederersaid she enjoyed her four years teaching at the Law School, and that the "nature of the recent publicity" led her to resign.
Columbia Law Dean Gillian Lester said in her letter to students the series "has reignited a painful - and vital - national conversation about race, identity, and criminal justice". The boys spent between six and 13 years in prison for the attack before being exonerated in 2002 after the actual rapist, Matias Reyes, confessed. "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".
However, we know that, unlike the heavily marketed Netflix Original movie Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock, which divided audiences and critics, When They See Us has been receiving nearly uniformly positive reviews. "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". 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. "Instead of taking decisive action to address the issue, Columbia Law School simply removed the Central Park jogger case from Lederer's online bio".
Former New York City prosecutor Linda Fairstein, who is portrayed in the series by Felicity Huffman, said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the series is "so full of distortions and falsehoods as to be an outright fabrication".
The new Netflix series depicts the teens as being coerced into confessing and denied their human rights.
When They See Us is available to stream now on Netflix.
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