Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump deleted his viral tweet attacking a New York City hospital worker after her attorney threatened defamation lawsuits against those who defamed her.
Sarah Comrie, a physician assistant at Bellevue Hospital, was put on leave after the video of an altercation between her and multiple young Black men went viral on Twitter. It was viewed more than 4 million times.
> @AttorneyCrump deleted this tweet defaming pregnant NYC nurse Sarah Comrie https://t.co/OHznOnu6Jw pic.twitter.com/yoM8bdRO65
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) May 19, 2023
“This is unacceptable!” Crump captioned the tweet with the video. “A white woman was caught on camera attempting to STEAL a Citi Bike from a young Black man in NYC. She grossly tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat. This is EXACTLY the type of behavior that has endangered so many Black men in the past!”
Comrie‘s attorney, Justin Marino, said on Fox News that Comrie is six months pregnant and had just finished a 12–hour shift prior to the viral footage. He added she had to go “in hiding“ due to the response to the video and was hired because she feared she may lose her job.
“She‘s been called a racist,” Marino said. “She‘s been called a thief. There are reasons defamation laws exist, and we plan to pursue that.”
Crump deleted his tweet hours after the Fox News segment aired and the men in the video with Comrie said they had paid to use the bike. Marino said Comrie had no way of knowing that and added someone had pushed the bike back into the docking station while she was on it.
Fox News Digital reached out to Crump for comment on whether he plans to apologize for his tweet but has not received a response.
The incident comes amid a larger conversation about systemic racism, police brutality and the implications of social media posts which can have far–reaching effects on people‘s reputations.
It is yet to be determined if Comrie‘s situation will be addressed legally. Regardless, it serves as a stark reminder of how quickly digital discourse can go from a well–intentioned viewpoint to one that can be deemed defamatory and cause serious harm to those involved.