By Terry Shropshire
Former prosecutor Linda Fairstein is forced to see us now.
The electrifying Netflix miniseries “When They See Us,” which is the true story of the “Central Park 5” teens that Fairstein wrongly prosecuted for the rape of female jogger Trisha Meili in the 1980s, is inspiring a major revolt against her.
Fairstein has since gone on to become a bestselling novelist under the name Alexandra Cooper, where she writes about her experiences as a New York City prosecutor.
Despite the ferocious blowback to Fairstein’s work that sent the men to prison for many years, she still stands by her decision and says it was wrong to overturn the convictions, according to the New Yorker.
But in 2014, NYC ended up paying $40M to the freed Central Park Five — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — after Matias Reyes confessed to the crimes in 2002 and his DNA matched the evidence.
Even more damning is the fact that Fairstein helped disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein evade prosecution for sexual improprieties, even as Weinstein later confessed to the crimes while being secretly recorded:
Linda Fairstein, the sex crimes prosecutor who coerced false confessions out of the Central Park Five, helped Harvey Weinstein evade assault charges. She later told NYT she found @AmbraGutierrez’s complaint to be unfounded
Weinstein confessed on tapehttps://t.co/6x6GRA0V7C pic.twitter.com/R6QZ5KUHNR
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) June 1, 2019
Fairstein has heard the backlash. According to BET.com, Fairstein has been forced to shut down all of her social media accounts since the four-part miniseries premiered on May 31.
Someone has also ravaged Fairstein’s Wikipedia page:
To the person who corrected @LindaFairstein ‘s Wikipedia page, I hope you have an amazing day! #WhenTheySeeUs pic.twitter.com/7gCjmknytB
— Jermaine Taiwo (@sevadelsur) June 1, 2019
Ava DuVernay (director of Selma, A Wrinkle in Time, and OWN’s “Queen Sugar”) created, wrote and directed “When They See Us,” which painstakingly and heartbreakingly details all of what those teens endured and how Fairstein prosecuted them without physical evidence.
Unsurprisingly, folks are going after Fairstein full throttle, with Newsweek reporting that social media users created the hashtags #CancelLindaFairstein and #BOYCOTTSIMONSCHUSTER, in order to get Simon & Schuster to drop the author from their roster.
According to Esquire, the Mystery Writers of America rescinded the prestigious Grand Master title, a lifetime achievement award given to Fairstein, after other authors protested because of her work on the Central Park Five.
Also, there is a Change.org petition that demands publishers and booksellers cease the production and sales of Fairstein’s novels.
And, of course, Twitter and Instagram users are steadily ripping Fairstein without relent:
White women have always supported white supremacy.
.@LindaFairstein should be criminally investigated for her hand in the convictions of the #CentralPark5.
Carolyn Donham Bryant should be prosecuted for telling lies that got #EmmettTill murdered and his murderer acquitted. pic.twitter.com/RpcSrXaWuP
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) June 3, 2019
With the help of #ballerart, we have found another case of possible framing & wrongful prosecution by @LindaFairstein. We are demanding that Manhattan District Attorney, @CyVanceforDA, re-open her sex crimes convictions and investigate. This woman is a criminal!
— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) June 2, 2019
@LindaFairstein should be in jail. I’m so glad her literary honor was rescinded by Edgar awards but she still has a flourishing publishing career. She almost ruined those men’s lives.
— Babe (@baddestbossbabe) June 3, 2019
@LindaFairstein should be behind bars for sending innocent children to jail. #WhenTheySeeUs #lindafairstein
— G (@jhxselin) May 31, 2019
Watching #WhenTheySeeUs and nothing angered me more than #LindaFairstein’s conduct during the investigation. Thank you @ava for shining a light.
— G O L D I E. (@goldietaylor) June 2, 2019
The prosecutor in #WhenTheySeeUs @LindaFairstein is now a multiple time author writing for kids
Anyone with a book deal with this woman need rescind it. Immediately. She destroyed not just the lives of the exonerated 5, but a whole community for decades since
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) June 3, 2019
Looks like #LindaFairstein deleted her account, your Time is up you vile disgusting creature #WhenTheySeeUs #CentralParkFive pic.twitter.com/SnB80KY2Zf
— Brit_Kid_Kenny #TwitchLdn (@Brit_Kid_Kenny) June 3, 2019