- Ancestry.com ad tries to sell slavery as romance—not rape 6 Years Ago
- The 9 best Satanic movies on Shudder 6 Years Ago
- Twitch streamer banned after accidentally revealing racist chats 6 Years Ago
- This video captures 15 years of meme trends in 10 minutes 6 Years Ago
- Trump calls parts of Mueller Report ‘total bullshit’ in unfinished tweetstorm Today 8:24 AM
- Amid ‘Avengers’ hype, ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ bumps up release date Today 7:57 AM
- Netflix’s ‘Someone Great’ is a coming-of-age rom-com for twenty-somethings Today 7:03 AM
- The best new movies and TV shows to stream this weekend Today 7:00 AM
- ‘Ramy’ explores the intersection of Muslim and millennial identities Today 6:30 AM
- The top 10 Sekiro bosses, ranked Today 6:00 AM
- How to install PlayStation Vue on Kodi to stream live TV Today 5:30 AM
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supports resolution that could lead to Trump’s impeachment Thursday 9:46 PM
- Ricardo Milos dancing memes are the new Rickroll Thursday 9:09 PM
- Laura Loomer sues Twitter, Muslim lobbying group over account ban Thursday 8:15 PM
- Far-right troll Ian Miles Cheong gets flamed for mocking a ‘Star Wars’ fan Thursday 6:17 PM
Ken Burns documentary inspires petition to fire law professor
An online petition seeks to have one of prosecutors of the Central Park Five fired from her job at Columbia Law School.
A Ken Burns documentary on the wrongful conviction of five minority teenagers has inspired an online petition to get one of the lead prosecutors of the case fired from her current job.
On April 16, 2013, PBS aired The Central Park Five, the 2012 Ken Burns film that covers in great detail the 1989 “Central Park jogger case,” a case in which Trisha Meili was assaulted, raped, and left for dead (she would miraculously survive). Police arrested five teenagers—Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, and Kharey Wise—and forced confessions out of them, which would result in their convictions. In 2002, however, those convictions were vacated after the true perpetrator confessed to his crime.
Among those watching the documentary that night was Frank Chi, a 28-year-old political consultant. He was so disturbed by their wrongful conviction that he took to Google to find out the name of one of the main prosecutors. Chi learned the name of his target, Elizabeth Lederer, and that not only was she still an assistant district attorney, but that she was also teaching at Columbia University’s school of law.
Appalled by his findings, Chi took to Twitter.
— Frank Chi (@FrankChi) April 17, 2013
That wasn’t enough to placate Chi. An hour after posting the above tweet, he took to the platform once again, this time to push a petition to get Elizabeth Lederer fired from her teaching position at Columbia.
— Frank Chi (@FrankChi) April 17, 2013
The petition aimed at collecting 6,000 signatures to send to David M. Schizer, Dean of Columbia University’s Law School.
“No individual who is responsible for locking up innocent boys for years should ever step foot in a classroom to teach students,” the petition reads. “Ever.”
Chi’s online effort gained some traction on Twitter. Legendary hip hop group De La Soul came across it and tweeted it to 27,000 followers.
Watched “Central Park Five” a few months ago, Christmas day actually, felt powerless…stumbled on this today org.credoaction.com/petitions/colu…
— De La Soul (@WeAreDeLaSoul) April 22, 2013
The petition also got the attention of Raymond Santana, one of the five men who was wrongfully convicted. Santana retweeted Chi’s original tweet.
— Frank Chi (@FrankChi) April 18, 2013
Chi even tried to get Ken Burns on board, but the documentarian refused.
“it is just simple retribution and we are appalled by it,” he told the New York Times on Thursday. “We don’t subscribe to any of it.”
Burns’s condemnation aside, the petition seems to be doing quite well, at least in terms of getting people to sign. As of this writing, it has collected 5,835 of the 6,000 signatures.
Photo via University of Mount Union/Flickr
Fidel Martinez is a web culture and politics reporter. His work for the Daily Dot focused on Reddit and YouTube.