Letter of Demand for Retraction and Apology to MSNBC and Joy Reid and Chris Hayes (also includes Tim Wise)

Notice to Cease and Desist and Notice of Demand for Retraction and Apology

May 13, 2019

Attorney Kimberley D. Harris, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation, and General Counsel

NBCUniversal

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112

Re:  Defamation of Character of Sarah Braasch on MSNBC

Attorney Harris:

First and foremost, as I made clear in my prior letter regarding NBC News, this letter serves as notice that the video recording made of me on May 8th, 2018, in my Yale University dormitory, the Hall of Graduate Studies, was made illegally, under Connecticut State Law, and the distribution of this video recording, either the audio or the video therefrom, or any part thereof, is illegal under Connecticut State Law, including under CT General Statutes, Chapter 952, Section 53A, Provisions 189 a and b.  I intend to pursue prosecution for the illegal distribution of this video recording to the full extent of the law.  The distribution of this illegal video recording is a felony under CT State Law, with a statute of limitations of 5 years.  I demand that you remove this video wherever it may have been posted by any agent of Comcast Corporation.  I demand that you remove any links to this video wherever these links may have been posted by any agent of Comcast Corporation.  

Attorney Sternlicht’s claims in his response letter dated May 7, 2019, that NBCUniversal’s distribution of this illegal video recording is not illegal are false.  Attorney Sternlicht claims that Connecticut is a one party state, which is false, but even if that were the case, it remains true that I had more than a reasonable expectation of privacy standing in the doorway of my dorm room on Yale’s campus at 2 am, and it remains true that the video recording of me from May 8th, 2018, is illegal under CT State Law, as I mentioned in my initial letter.  Once you have been made aware that the video recording is illegal, you are aware that you are illegally distributing an illegal video recording, and NBCUniversal has been made aware that the video recording is illegal.  And, Attorney Sternlicht’s claims that I consented to being both recorded and filmed are patently ridiculous.  I did not consent either to being filmed or recorded just because my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, held up her cell phone, nor did I consent to being either filmed or recorded because my attacker told me she was placing the video recording on Facebook Live at the very end of the recording.  I did not hear her say this at the time, and even if I could have consented retroactively, I clearly did not, because, as Attorney Sternlicht notes, I was very clearly objecting to having my photo taken, which also makes clear that I was not aware, nor did I consent to being recorded or filmed.  Moreover, that Attorney Sternlicht would attempt to describe an illegal online campaign to publicly shame an older, disabled woman for her mental health disability by violating her privacy rights as a matter of public interest, justifying NBCUniversal’s illegal distribution of this video, is both asinine and reprehensible.  Moreover, Attorney Sternlicht’s claim that Staff Writer Erik Ortiz linking me to a police shooting of an unarmed black woman near Yale University is not defamatory and did not endanger my life and destroy my career and reputation and livelihood is, frankly, shocking.  

This letter serves as a demand that all Comcast Corporation agents cease and desist their grossly false and defamatory statements about me, Sarah Braasch, immediately.  This letter also serves as a demand that all Comcast Corporation agents who have made such grossly false and defamatory statements about me, including, but not limited to, MSNBC, Joy Reid, and Chris Hayes, immediately and publicly retract those statements and immediately and publicly apologize to me, Sarah Braasch, for having made those grossly false and defamatory statements.  

These grossly false and defamatory statements include, but are not limited to, the following:

MSNBC has produced a video, which grossly defames me as guilty of racial harassment.  This video is available on MSNBC’s website and their YouTube Channel, and has been widely viewed and distributed online.  On May 29th, 2018, while I was in hiding to save my own life, after I had to flee Yale’s campus while being taunted by a mob, and while I was receiving thousands upon thousands of death threats and threats of violence, including sexual violence, and while I was curled up in the fetal position in a state of literal physical shock, convulsing with the chills, terrified to leave my room, knowing that my life and career had been wrongfully destroyed, MSNBC aired a Town Hall called “Everyday Racism in America.”  During this defamatory broadcast, Joy Reid and Chris Hayes made grossly false and defamatory statements about me and what happened during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale that can only be construed as an attempt to destroy my life and career as a human and civil rights licensed attorney activist and to bring about the death of an innocent civil rights activist and older disabled woman by either driving me to suicide or inciting my murder.  

Joy Reid and Chris Hayes concocted a grotesque fairy tale about what occurred, and what I had done, and what my motivations were, and who I am.

Chris Hayes begins by telling a straight up bald faced lie and trying to make it seem like I just happened to come across a random sleeping black person in the huge, ground floor common room of my Yale dorm in the middle of the night, instead of what actually happened, which was that the person who had been terrorizing me that evening and for months in my isolated dorm room was camped out immediately outside of my isolated dorm room, in the small, little used room next door, the only other room on that floor, at the top of a tower.  

Chris Hayes described the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax, of which I was the victim, as a trauma that I inflicted on my attacker, and he said that I othered her. 

I was the person who was being terrorized in my isolated dorm room that evening and for months.  I was the person who was being targeted for my sex, disability, age, and race.  I was the person who was traumatized.  I was the person who was being othered.  I was the person being policed.  I was the person being excluded from her own campus, from her own home.  

Chris Hayes actually asked my attacker what it was like to spend time in the common room of my Yale dorm after the video had gone viral, meaning the huge, ground floor common room of my Yale dorm.  This is a preposterous and gross and willful mischaracterization of the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale.  

Joy Reid asked my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, if she had seen me on campus since May 8th, 2018, and what had occurred if she had.  Well, she wouldn’t have seen me on campus, because I had to immediately go into hiding for my personal safety.  I had to move into a part of the dorm that was under construction, where I wouldn’t be attacked.  I had to flee Yale’s campus for my personal safety, and I feared for my life while I was being taunted by a mob, while I was waiting, desperately, for my Uber.  

Joy Reid said that it feels like we’re back in the fight over whether black people are going to have access to public spaces, and she was referring specifically to me when she said this.  One of the key points of my legal and human and civil rights advocacy for years has been the desegregation of the public space.  This information is widely and readily available online, including in my bio on Yale’s Philosophy Department website.  In fact, my focus on the desegregation of the public space is why I chose to go work as a Human Rights Fellow at Ni Putes Ni Soumises in France, a women’s rights organization comprised primarily of women from the predominantly Muslim and North and Sub-Saharan African immigrant communities surrounding the major cities of France, for whom desegregation of the public space is a pillar of their movement.  This is information that is widely and readily available online, including in my bio on Yale’s Philosophy Department website.  Why didn’t I have the right to feel safe and to be free from harassment, stalking, and attacks in my own home, my isolated dorm room, and as I walked across campus?  

Of course, the entire panel and its assorted guests, a panel on Everyday Racism in America, in which I was included as an example of a racist who tries to get black and brown people killed by weaponizing the police, made grossly false and defamatory statement after statement about how what I did was racist, and how I was suspicious of my attacker, because of the color of her skin, and how I was trying to weaponize the police against black and brown people, and how I was trying to exclude black and brown people from my white space, and how I thought I had the authority to police my white space.  It was, frankly, grotesque.  It was a grotesque fairy tale concocted to endanger my life and destroy my lifelong career as an innocent human and civil rights licensed attorney activist.  

Tim Wise, the author of White Like Me:  Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son, said that I called the Yale campus police on my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, with the knowledge of Tamir Rice’s death at the hands of the police, and he made the following, absolutely obscene statement about what I was thinking during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale:

“My discomfort with you right now is worth more than the potential that your life could be snuffed in ten minutes.  Until that stops, nothing is going to change.”

I was literally in a state of shock, listening to this grotesque lie about me, about who I am, about what happened during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale, about what I did, and about what my motivations were, while Joy Reid and Chris Hayes and the other panelists clapped and nodded in agreement. 

When Tim Wise says something like this about me on MSNBC, this can only be construed as an attempt to endanger my life and destroy my career and reputation and livelihood.  He is trying to get me killed by saying that I was trying to kill a black person by weaponizing the police, which is the most grotesque and disgusting lie imaginable.  

Then, Chris Hayes concocted a grotesque fairy tale immediately thereafter about what happened during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale.  Chris Hayes explicitly states that I called 911, which is a bald faced lie.  Chris Hayes explicitly states that I never tried to speak to my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, before calling the Yale campus police, which is a bald faced lie.  Chris Hayes explicitly states that I was so uncomfortable with my attacker, because of the color of her skin, that I didn’t even bother to try to speak to her before dialing 911, which is a straight up, bald faced lie.  

Joy Reid explicitly states that what I did was a nuisance call, and that there should be legal repercussions for what I did.  Then the panel discussed how much of this is the result of gentrification and white people moving into black communities.  I grew up among black and brown people in a racially integrated religious cult, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the notion that I would regard a black or brown person as suspicious, because of the color of their skin is so ludicrous and asinine that it is too preposterous to be considered.  This is information that is widely and readily available online.  The panel also spoke about how all of these racist 911 callers who are trying to get black and brown people killed by weaponizing the police are motivated by Trump and Trump’s rhetoric, and how Trump unleashed our racism and empowered us to be racist.  I have only ever voted Democratic my entire adult life, and I was a vociferous anti-Trump advocate during the last presidential election. Again, this is information that is widely and readily available online.  

These are straight up, bald faced lies, on the part of Joy Reid, Chris Hayes, and MSNBC, meant to destroy my life, my career as a lifelong human and civil rights licensed attorney activist, and ruin my reputation and livelihood, with reckless disregard for the truth, lies which almost drove me to suicide and incited my murder.  

Moreover, the illegal video of me from May 8th, 2018, was made of me, illegally, and widely distributed online, illegally, for the purpose of shaming me for my disability, my mental health disability, including by MSNBC.  The fact that I was targeted for my mental health disability is made abundantly clear in the video itself, when my attacker repeatedly calls me psychotic and says that I should be put in a mental institution.  She also explicitly states that it was Yale who illegally fed her my personal information, including my mental health history, when she says that Yale knows that I’m crazy and that I should be institutionalized.  That MSNBC would participate in the cable news broadcast and online public shaming of a middle aged, disabled woman, who was made a target, because of her mental health disability, is reprehensible.  The most defamatory and disgusting thing that MSNBC did in producing this broadcast meant to destroy my life, a broadcast which almost drove me to suicide and incited my murder, was to purposely and purposefully omit those portions of the video that make it clear that my attacker was targeting me for my mental health disability, as well as those portions of the video where my attacker stigmatizes mental illness and makes clear that Yale was illegally feeding her my personal information, in gross violation of my privacy, including my mental health history.  

These are straight-up, bald-faced lies, on the part of Comcast Corporation, including MSNBC, Joy Reid, and Chris Hayes, meant to destroy my life, my career as a lifelong human and civil rights licensed attorney activist, and ruin my reputation and livelihood, with reckless disregard for the truth, lies which almost drove me to suicide and incited my murder.  Joy Reid and Chris Hayes lied on MSNBC about me.  They didn’t even try to find out the truth of what happened. They did not meet the bare minimum requirement with respect to their ethical and journalistic obligations to report the truth before they endangered and destroyed my life by telling lies about me on MSNBC, broadcast to the entire world.  

The damage to my life, reputation, livelihood, good name, and career are incalculable.  I was forced to flee my dorm room and then campus. I was suicidal for near a year and forced into hiding for my personal safety.  I continue to be defamed as a racist, including recently, by Erik Ortiz and NBC News.  I can’t even begin to count the death threats and threats of violence that I have received. I can’t even begin to count the number of instances of defamation as guilty of racial harassment that I have endured in the national and international news media, as well as on social media, including on MSNBC and including by Joy Reid and Chris Hayes.  My academic and legal and human and civil rights careers are over.  I will never be able to secure gainful employment.  I will no longer be able to support myself.  

I had been a lifelong human and civil rights licensed attorney activist who had devoted her life to undermining oppression in all of its many forms, including racism.  No one who has ever known me has ever heard or seen me say or do anything racist ever.  Everything that I had wished for my life is no longer possible. Everything that I had strived for my entire life has been destroyed, it has been stripped from me through no fault of my own.  

As a result, I immediately demand the following: 

  1. Comcast Corporation will remove the illegal video recording of me and any part thereof, wherever it exists, including all links thereto;  
  2. Comcast Corporation will retract and remove all grossly false and defamatory statements about me, wherever they exist, including all links thereto;
  3. Comcast Corporation will produce a statement, including an apology to me, and Comcast Corporation will explain the gross illegality of all other grossly false and defamatory statements about me, as well as their grossly false and defamatory character; this new statement will take the place of the former grossly false and defamatory statements, wherever they exist, including all links thereto;
  4. Comcast Corporation will issue a public apology to me for concluding that I acted with any racial animus or bias in connection with this incident, and stating that all the evidence known to Comcast Corporation suggests otherwise, and this public apology will be read on air on any broadcast that had previously aired grossly false and defamatory statements about me, including on MSNBC, and including by Joy Reid and Chris Hayes; and 
  5. Comcast Corporation will publicly announce that I have been publicly misrepresented as engaging in discriminatory misconduct, and this public announcement will be read on air on any broadcast that had previously aired grossly false and defamatory statements about me, including on MSNBC, and including by Joy Reid and Chris Hayes.  Indeed, my work at Yale and beyond evidence that I harbor no racial animus whatsoever.  To the contrary, I have dedicated myself to causes of social justice including the cause of eradicating all forms of discrimination. 

I expect a response from you in short order.

Sincerely, 

Sarah Braasch

cc:  Attorney David Sternlicht, Senior Vice President, NBCUniversal News Group, Legal

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Joy Reid and Chris Hayes of MSNBC Tried To Get Me Killed By Lying About Me For Money YouTube Channel Video Script

Below please find my YouTube Channel Video Script for the video: Joy Reid and Chris Hayes of MSNBC Tried to Get Me Killed by Lying About Me for Money.

On May 29th, 2018, while I was in hiding to save my own life, after I had to flee Yale’s campus while being taunted by a mob, and while I was receiving thousands upon thousands of death threats and threats of violence, including sexual violence, while I was curled up in the fetal position in a state of literal physical shock, convulsing with the chills, terrified to leave my room, knowing that my life and career had been wrongfully destroyed, MSNBC aired a Town Hall called “Everyday Racism in America” during which Joy Reid and Chris Hayes made grossly false and defamatory statements about me and what happened during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale that can only be construed as an attempt to destroy my life and career as a human and civil rights licensed attorney activist and to bring about the death of an innocent civil rights activist and older disabled woman (my death) by either driving me to suicide or inciting my murder.  

Joy Reid and Chris Hayes concocted a grotesque fairy tale about what occurred, and what I had done, and what my motivations were, and who I am.

I was shocked that they included a portion of the illegal video of me from May 8th, 2018, the video in which my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, makes clear that she was targeting me because of my mental health disability.  But, they failed to include the portions where my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, makes clear that she was targeting me because of my mental health disability, and that Yale had been illegally feeding her my personal information, including my name and mental health history, and that she illegally distributed this illegal video of me to publicly shame me for my mental health disability.  So, Joy Reid and Chris Hayes and MSNBC were knowingly participating in an illegal campaign to shame an older, disabled woman for her mental health disability.  

Chris Hayes begins by telling a straight up bald faced lie and trying to make it seem like I just happened to come across a random sleeping black person in the huge, ground floor common room of my Yale dorm in the middle of the night, instead of what actually happened, which was that the person who had been terrorizing me that evening and for months in my isolated dorm room was camped out immediately outside of my isolated dorm room, in the small, little used room next door, the only other room on that floor, at the top of a tower.  

Chris Hayes described the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax, of which I was the victim, as a trauma that I inflicted on my attacker, and he said that I othered her. 

I want to let Chris Hayes know that I was the person who was being terrorized in my isolated dorm room that evening and for months.  I want to let Chris Hayes know that I was the person who was being targeted for my sex, disability, age, and, yes, race.  I was the person who was traumatized.  I was the person who was being othered.  I was the person being policed.  I was the person being excluded from her own campus, from her own home.  

Chris Hayes actually asked my attacker what it was like to spend time in the common room of my Yale dorm after the video had gone viral, meaning the huge, ground floor common room of my Yale dorm.  This is a preposterous and gross and willful mischaracterization of the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale.  

Joy Reid asked my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, if she had seen me on campus since May 8th, 2018, and what had occurred if she had.  Well, Joy Reid, she wouldn’t have seen me on campus, because I had to immediately go into hiding for my personal safety.  I had to move into a part of the dorm that was under construction, where I wouldn’t be attacked, especially after pundits like Ijeoma Oluo called for me to be harassed and stalked in my own home, my isolated dorm room.  I had to flee Yale’s campus for my personal safety, and I feared for my life while I was being taunted by a mob, while I was waiting, desperately, for my uber.  

While listening to this video, this was the first time that I heard my attacker lie and say that one of my other attackers, Jean Louis Reneson, kept running into me after February 24th, 2018, which is a straight up, bald faced lie.  I never saw him again.  Let me repeat that.  I never saw him again.  She goes on to say that he was re-traumatized each time he saw me, and that every black student on Yale’s campus would be re-traumatized by seeing me on campus. This is a preposterous, disgusting, straight-up, bald-faced lie almost beyond belief.  

I thought it was very telling when my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, said that she was supposed to leave that next day for Nigeria.  I knew and had made clear to the Yale Administration and the Yale Campus Police that the harassment and stalking and attacks against me were gaining in frequency and intensity, and I believed that this was because the end of the academic year was fast approaching and my attackers were becoming desperate to wreak their vengeance upon me for their delusional, jealous, and obsessive personal vendetta against me.  

On May 7th, I was up in the middle of the night, because I was trying desperately to pack up my belongings, clean my room, and flee my home, because I was terrified of being attacked.  I had made arrangements to stay with friends in NYC.  I had also been moving items into a storage unit in New Haven.  

Joy Reid said that it feels like we’re back in the fight over whether black people are going to have access to public spaces.  I want to let Joy Reid know that one of the key points of my legal and human and civil rights advocacy has been the desegregation of the public space.  I want her to know that that’s why I chose to go work as a Human Rights Fellow at Ni Putes Ni Soumises in France, a women’s rights organization comprised primarily of women from the predominantly Muslim immigrant communities surrounding the major cities of France, for whom desegregation of the public space is a pillar of their movement.  I want to ask Joy Reid why I didn’t have the right to feel safe and to be free from harassment, stalking, and attacks in my own home, my isolated dorm room, and as I walked across campus?  

Of course, the entire panel and its assorted guests, a panel on everyday racism in America, in which I was included as an example of a racist, made grossly false and defamatory statement after statement about how what I did was racist, and how I was suspicious of my attacker, because of the color of her skin, and how I was trying to weaponize the police against black and brown people, and how I was trying to exclude black and brown people from my white space, and how I thought I had the authority to police my white space.  It was, frankly, grotesque.  It was a grotesque fairy tale concocted to endanger my life and destroy my lifelong career as an innocent human and civil rights licensed attorney activist.  

Tim Wise, the author of White Like Me:  Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son, said that I called the Yale campus police on my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, with the knowledge of Tamir Rice’s death at the hands of the police, and he made the following, absolutely obscene statement about what I was thinking during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale:

“My discomfort with you right now is worth more than the potential that your life could be snuffed in ten minutes.  Until that stops, nothing is going to change.”

I am literally in a state of shock right now, listening to this grotesque lie about me, about who I am, about what happened during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale, about what I did, and about what my motivations were.  

When Tim Wise says something like this about me on MSNBC, this can only be construed as an attempt to endanger my life and destroy my career.  He is trying to get me killed by saying that I was trying to kill a black person by weaponizing the police, which is the most grotesque and disgusting lie imaginable.  

Then, Chris Hayes concocted a grotesque fairy tale immediately thereafter about what happened during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale.

Chris Hayes explicitly states that I called 911, which is a bald faced lie.

Chris Hayes explicitly states that I never tried to speak to my attacker, Lolade Siyonbola, before calling the Yale campus police, which is a bald faced lie.  

Chris Hayes explicitly states that I was so uncomfortable with my attacker, because of the color of her skin, which is why I didn’t even bother to try to speak to her before dialing 911, which is a straight up, bald faced lie.

Joy Reid explicitly states that what I did was a nuisance call, and that there should be legal repercussions for what I did.  

Then the panel discussed how much of this is the result of gentrification and white people moving into black communities.  

I just want to let Joy Reid and Chris Hayes and Tim Wise and MSNBC know that I grew up among black and brown people in a racially integrated religious cult, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the notion that I would regard a black or brown person as suspicious, because of the color of their skin is so ludicrous and asinine that it is too preposterous to be considered, except as an indication of how stupid someone is.  

The panel also spoke about how all of these racist 911 callers who are trying to get black and brown people killed by weaponizing the police are motivated by Trump and Trump’s rhetoric, and how Trump unleashed our racism and empowered us to be racist.  

These are all straight up, bald faced lies meant to destroy my life and career as a lifelong and innocent human and civil rights licensed attorney activist and to bring about my death by either driving me to suicide or inciting my murder.  

I have a message for Joy Reid and Chris Hayes and Tim Wise and MSNBC:

I hope selling your souls was worth it.  You are evil. You are evil.  You need to ask God for forgiveness.

You destroyed the Living While Black movement.  It is because of charlatans and frauds like you, who tell lies and broadcast lies to the world for moral outrage industry profit and gain, no matter how many innocent lives you destroy and no matter how many innocent people you get killed, that the Living While Black movement no longer exists.  

You are the racists. You are the bigots.  You are the ones who participated in the illegal campaign to publicly shame an older, poor, disabled woman for her mental health disability.  

You are the ones who turned the Living While Black movement into the Great Racist Scare of 2018.  You are the ones who turned the Living While Black movement into a blood sport of trying to get older, poor, white women with obvious or seeming mental health disabilities killed for moral outrage industry profit and gain.  

You chose them for your victims, because you thought that they were too weak and too poor and too disabled to fight back.  Well, I want to let you know that I’m going to fight back.  I’m not going to let you get away with your bigotry and your mercenary and venal wrongdoing.  

Shame on you. Shame.  I don’t know how you live with yourselves.  

If you wish to support me, as I seek justice, it would mean the world to me. Here are my PayPalMe and GoFundMe links. 

PayPalMe:  https://www.paypal.me/SarahBraasch

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Letter to Kimberley D. Harris, General Counsel for NBCUniversal, Demanding a Retraction and Apology and as Notice of the Illegal Distribution of the Illegal Video Recording of Me

Notice to Cease and Desist and Notice of Demand for Retraction and Apology

April 27, 2019

Attorney Kimberley D. Harris, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation, and General Counsel

NBCUniversal

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112

Re:  Defamation of Character of Sarah Braasch

Attorney Harris:

First and foremost, this letter serves as notice that the video recording made of me on May 8th, 2018, in my Yale University dormitory, the Hall of Graduate Studies, was made illegally, under Connecticut State Law, and the distribution of this video recording, either the audio or the video therefrom, or any part thereof, is illegal under Connecticut State Law, including under CT General Statutes, Chapter 952, Section 53A, Provisions 189 a and b.  I intend to pursue prosecution for the illegal distribution of this video recording to the full extent of the law.  The distribution of this illegal video recording is a felony under CT State Law, with a statute of limitations of 5 years.  I demand that you remove this video wherever it may have been posted by any agent of Comcast Corporation.  I demand that you remove any links to this video wherever these links may have been posted by any agent of Comcast Corporation.  

This letter serves as a demand that all Comcast Corporation agents cease and desist their grossly false and defamatory statements about me, Sarah Braasch, immediately.  This letter also serves as a demand that all Comcast Corporation agents who have made such grossly false and defamatory statements about me, including, but not limited to, NBC News, Ron Allen, and Erik Ortiz, immediately and publicly retract those statements and immediately and publicly apologize to me, Sarah Braasch, for having made those grossly false and defamatory statements.  

These grossly false and defamatory statements include, but are not limited to, the following:

NBC Nightly News has produced a broadcast video, dated May 10th, 2018, which grossly defames me as guilty of racial harassment.  This video is available on NBC’s website and their YouTube Channel, and has been widely viewed and distributed online.  Ron Allen of NBC Nightly News explicitly states in the video that I reported the woman whom I had encountered in the small common room next to my isolated dorm room to the Yale campus police, because I regarded her as suspicious, because she looked different than me, because of the color of her skin.  Ron Allen of NBC Nightly News explicitly states in the video that my call to the Yale campus police was unjustified, because the woman whom I had encountered, was, according to NBC Nightly News, doing nothing wrong.  Ron Allen of NBC Nightly News explicitly states in the video that I was motivated by racial bias.  These are straight up, bald faced lies, on the part of Ron Allen and NBC Nightly News, meant to destroy my life, my career as a lifelong human and civil rights licensed attorney activist, and ruin my reputation and livelihood, with reckless disregard for the truth, lies which almost drove me to suicide and incited my murder.  

Moreover, this video was made of me, illegally, and widely distributed online, illegally, for the purpose of shaming me for my disability, my mental health disability, including by NBC News.  The fact that I was targeted for my mental health disability is made abundantly clear in the video itself, when my attacker repeatedly calls me psychotic and says that I should be put in a mental institution.  She also explicitly states that it was Yale who illegally fed her my personal information, including my mental health history, when she says that Yale knows that I’m crazy and that I should be institutionalized. That NBC News would participate in the network news broadcast and online public shaming of a middle aged, disabled woman, who was made a target, because of her mental health disability, is reprehensible.  The most defamatory and disgusting thing that NBC News did in producing this broadcast video meant to destroy my life, a broadcast video which almost drove me to suicide and incited my murder, was to purposely and purposefully omit those portions of the video that make it clear that my attacker was targeting me for my mental health disability, as well as those portions of the video where my attacker stigmatizes mental illness and makes clear that Yale was illegally feeding her my personal information, in gross violation of my privacy, including my mental health history.  

Additionally, NBC News Staff Writer Erik Ortiz has written a grossly and egregiously defamatory article titled, “Police shooting near Yale exposes complex racial divide,” which is dated April 24th, 2019, and includes a link to the grossly false and defamatory NBC Nightly News broadcast video with Ron Allen, dated May 10th, 2018.  It is difficult to believe that NBC News would do something so vile and defamatory as to link an innocent civil rights activist and older disabled woman, who is the victim of a campaign of harassment and stalking, in part due to her mental health disability, facts which are common knowledge, to a police shooting of a black woman near Yale that sparked protests about racism and police brutality.  NBC News Staff Writer Erik Ortiz explicitly states that I am the reason why there is not a better relationship between the Yale Campus Police Department and the black communities surrounding Yale University.  This is a straight up, bald faced lie, on the part of NBC News, meant to destroy my life, my career as a lifelong human and civil rights licensed attorney activist, and ruin my reputation and livelihood, with reckless disregard for the truth, a lie which almost drove me to suicide and incited my murder.  

These are straight-up, bald-faced lies, on the part of Comcast Corporation, including NBC News, Ron Allen, and Erik Ortiz, meant to destroy my life, my career as a lifelong human and civil rights licensed attorney activist, and ruin my reputation and livelihood, with reckless disregard for the truth, lies which almost drove me to suicide and incited my murder.  Ron Allen lied on NBC Nightly News about me.  He didn’t even try to find out the truth of what happened.  He did not meet the bare minimum requirement with respect to his ethical and journalistic obligations to report the truth before he endangered and destroyed my life by telling lies about me on NBC Nightly News, broadcast to the entire world.  

The damage to my life, reputation, livelihood, good name, and career are incalculable.  I was forced to flee my dorm room and then campus. I was suicidal for near a year and forced into hiding for my personal safety.  I continue to be defamed as a racist, including this week, by Erik Ortiz and NBC News.  I can’t even begin to count the death threats and threats of violence that I have received. I can’t even begin to count the number of instances of defamation as guilty of racial harassment that I have endured in the national and international news media, as well as on social media, including on NBC News and by Ron Allen and Erik Ortiz.  My academic and legal and human and civil rights careers are over.  I will never be able to secure gainful employment.  I will no longer be able to support myself.  

I had been a lifelong human and civil rights licensed attorney activist who had devoted her life to undermining oppression in all of its many forms, including racism.  No one who has ever known me has ever heard or seen me say or do anything racist ever.  Everything that I had wished for my life is no longer possible. Everything that I had strived for my entire life has been destroyed, it has been stripped from me through no fault of my own.  

As a result, I immediately demand the following: 

  1. Comcast Corporation will remove the illegal video recording of me and any part thereof, wherever it exists, including all links thereto;  

  2. Comcast Corporation will retract and remove all grossly false and defamatory statements about me, wherever they exist, including all links thereto;
  3. Comcast Corporation will produce a statement, including an apology to me, and Comcast Corporation will explain the gross illegality of all other grossly false and defamatory statements about me, as well as their grossly false and defamatory character; this new statement will take the place of the former grossly false and defamatory statements, wherever they exist, including all links thereto;
  4. Comcast Corporation will issue a public apology to me for concluding that I acted with any
racial animus or bias in connection with this incident, and stating that all the evidence known to Comcast Corporation suggests otherwise, and this public apology will be read on air on any broadcast that had previously aired grossly false and defamatory statements about me, including on NBC Nightly News, and including by Ron Allen; and 

  5. Comcast Corporation will publicly announce that I have been publicly misrepresented as engaging in
discriminatory misconduct, and this public announcement will be read on air on any broadcast that had previously aired grossly false and defamatory statements about me, including on NBC Nightly News, and including by Ron Allen.  Indeed my work at Yale and beyond evidence that I harbor no racial animus whatsoever.  To the contrary, I have dedicated myself to causes of social justice including the cause of eradicating all forms of discrimination. 


I expect a response from you in short order.

Sincerely, 

Sarah Braasch

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