BLM Sacramento Says It Was 'Bullied' Into Apology to Settle Lawsuit

Karra Crowley sued the organization and its leader Tanya Faison for sharing her information and labeling her as a racist.

Black Lives Matter Sacramento alleges that it was bullied into offering a public apology to settle a lawsuit with a businesswoman from the Sacramento area.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Karra Crowley requested that a federal judge dismiss a libel suit against BLM and the organization’s founder, Tanya Faison. Crowley’s request came after a settlement was reached — which included Faison apologizing on Facebook. Crowley accused Faison of displaying “reckless behavior” that led to her being labeled a racist.

Shortly after a video of the apology was posted on its Facebook account on Thursday (August 17), a news release was issued by Faison, stating that she was forced to apologize

“Black Lives Matter Sacramento was bullied into an apology in order to end a lawsuit for receiving racist emails,” Faision’s statement read.

In a second Facebook video on Thursday night, Faison said that being forced to apologize to Crowley instead of fighting the suit was “an example to me of how white supremacy works.”

“It was a lose-lose,” Faison explained. “But I had to pick one and so I decided to go ahead and do the apology.”

“It is not heartfelt. I don’t think that it’s even warranted, but it’s something I had to do to get past ... and move on to the work and keep focused on the work and not worry about this case anymore,” Faison continued.

Following Faison’s videos, Crowley’s attorney Jeffrey Ochrach said on Friday (August 18) that “they may ask a federal judge to set aside the settlement agreement and continue to pursue the lawsuit because of the news release.”

“It completely violates the spirit of our settlement agreement,” Orcrach said. “She had even wanted to say in the apology that she was just doing it just to settle the case, and we said if it’s not a real apology we don’t want it.”

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“She was supposed to honor the agreement and make a sincere apology, and we thought she really meant it. Now, the question is do we ask the court to withdraw the settlement and allow her to continue to defame the Crowleys or not,” the statement continued.

The recent developments stem from several racist messages that were sent to BLM Sacramento’s Facebook that falsely claimed to be from Crowley. The messages were sent under her name by a former tenant she had evicted, local station KCRA reported.

After the messages were posted, BLM Sacramento posted Crowley’s name and wrote that it had “verified” her business and home addresses. The organization also allegedly refused to take down the posts — even after Crowley contacted Faison and informed her that she did not send the messages.

The online incident led to two years of court battles that seemingly ended when Ochrach agreed to dismiss the lawsuit if Faison apologized to Crowley on the BLM Sacramento Facebook page.

“On behalf of myself and Black Lives Matter Sacramento, I deeply apologize for my reckless behavior and the harm that we caused Ms. Crowley, her family, and her business,” Faison said in the apology. “Nonetheless, I posted on the Facebook website that I had verified Ms. Crowley’s identity. “I posted Ms. Crowley’s city of residence and work and I asked the public to make Ms. Crowley famous.”

“Terrible consequences for Ms. Crowley followed, including death threats. Black Lives Matter Sacramento and I were wrong,” Faison added.

Hours later, Faison explained why she apologized in a news release.

“Karra and Chris Crowley’s initial demand from BLM Sacramento was $200,000.00,” Faison said in the release. “Money that we don’t have.”

In response to the accusations, Crowley said, “I didn’t even ask for a penny, I asked for a public acknowledgment of what they had done.”

Faison also accused Crowley of attempting to confiscate their land which was used for a community garden. It was also alleged that Chris Crowley, Karra Crowley’s husband, went to the home of someone with ties to a BLM Sacramento member with a gun in his waist, offering $500 for Faison’s address.

Chris Crowley denied showing up to the home with a gun and said he asked “BLM Sacramento board members for Faison’s address to serve her with legal papers.”

According to Mark Merin, Faison’s attorney, the settlement agreement did not contain a confidentiality agreement. So Merin claims Faison is was free to share her side of the story.

“That’s Tanya’s perception, what can I say?” Merin said.

Ochrach said that he and his client will decide how to move forward with the case in the next week.

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