Shirley Sherrod Files Suit Against Conservative Blogger

Edited video falsely painted government official as racist.

Posted: 02/14/2011 01:59 PM EST
Shirley Sherrod

Shirley Sherrod, the African-American agriculture department employee who was fired in July after a highly edited video of her appeared to show that she was prejudiced against whites, has filed a lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart, the owner of the conservative website that posted it.

When the video first came to light, there was a rush to judgment. See, critics on the right crowed, the Obama administration is racist because the U.S. Department of Agriculture hires racist officials. Sherrod was swiftly fired and the NAACP went out of its way to condemn her. And then the truth came out—and so did an unedited version of her full speech. The complete clip showed that Sherrod was actually discussing how she overcame her own biases to help a farmer. The USDA wanted to rehire her, the NAACP issued an apology, and even Obama called.

Sherrod said Monday that she’s “still reeling” after being fired, according to the Associated Press. In the suit, which was filed in Washington on Friday, Sherrod says the video has damaged her reputation and prevented her from continuing her work.

Breitbart said in a statement that he “categorically rejects the transparent effort to chill his constitutionally protected free speech,” the New York Times reports.

Image:  Mark Wilson / Getty Images